The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

West Kennet

Long Barrow


While visiting the West Kennett barrow a worthwhile diversion is to check out the Swallowhead spring nearby. According to the speculative reconstruction of the Silbury/Avebury rituals by Michael Dames this spring was the original focal point of the whole complex and provided the baseline for the sacred geometries used to construct relationships between the various monuments. During the summer months (when incidentally the spring is dry)its a bit hard to spot from the path due to trees etc. Take the path from the road up to the west barrow until it takes a hard left,in front of you is a field gate which the more energetic may shin over or just follow the hedge around to the left until it finishes. Last time I was here (june 99) the field was under crops so keep to the fallow ground at the edge. Follow the edgeof the field to the right of the gate and Swallowhead is in the bottom right hand corner of the field.
I'm not a mystical person but this place is one of the few in Avebury which retains some of the original sense of being a sacred place (the lack of daytrippers is also something to do with it). If you climb down into the dried up spring an old willow tree is festooned with rags and small tokens of previous pilgrims. Sadly last time I was there the remains of some unidentified dead animal probably a cat, together with variousparaphenalia meant that some dodgy pagan nonsense has been going on. Especially during the hectic tourist season this is an oasis of calm with Silbury rising serenely above you in the distance.
Since its located on private land the access may have changed so if anybody has been there more recently please post a follow up.
Posted by C33
6th August 2000ce

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