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

West Kennet

Long Barrow


28th June 2006

West Kennett Longbarrow was the 7th destination on this my first pilgrimmage from the city slums of the Big Smoke to the mystical, mythical West. I'd spent the morning at Uffington in the company of the White Horse et al, then it was back in the motor and back onto the M4 and off to Wiltshire...

As other posts have alluded, the car park for WKLB is frequented by local bandits and there's no shortage of reminders in the form of rude, day-glo posters put up by the local fuzz. It would be easy to condemn this skullduggery as a product of modern times; but i couldn't help but speculate as to the comparable threats and dangers faced by the Ancients on their own sacred pilgrimmages and wondered if indeed there was a Neolithic equivalent of a Hoodie? So rather than a modern anomaly i came to view this threat as something that i probably shared with my forefathers and something that, undoubtedly like them too, consolodated the purpose of my journey. Another point to note is that on the lower reaches of path leading to the barrow there are sections where the nettles severely intrude on the walkway and, as such, leg protection is necessary or you'll probably find that you get stung. Avoid wearing mini-skirts!

There is little point in me going into any detail about either the barrow itself or the panoramic views afforded from it - these are all described elsewhere. However, one thing that i must mention is the view to the south of the barrow. Normally overlooked in favour of the view northwest towards Silbury Hill, or east towards The Sancturay, i'd argue that, certainly at this time of the year, the view to the south is by far the most spectacular, inspiring and profound on offer. This has happened by chance it seems, as nature has conspired to present us with a highly seductive floral alternative to the man-made sites that our gaze usually comes to rest on: three fields: one blue, one pink and one yellow, interspersed with swathes of brillant scarlet poppies: psychedelia au naturel!

I found the barrow itself magnificent but ultimately a sort of gloomy place - a place of solenmity and death. But the adjacent abundance of flora, fauna and wildflower speaks only of life and vitality. Perhaps the barrow's isolated, elevated position - surrounded as it is by the wild landscape - has something to do with this? Death and decay amidst life and renewal? Whatever the answer it was well worth the journey and an experience that i will, undoubtedly, take with me to the barrow.
Posted by deboudoir
28th June 2006ce
Edited 29th June 2006ce

Comments (1)

Nice post deboudoir

I've also seen the three coloured fields and it was very beautiful. Ever since I've tried a few times but I don't seem to be able to hit the spot at the right time of the year when these crops are blossoming. Your post is dated 28th June, did you actually write it just after being there? Or were you around the blooming fields some time earlier? Any help with that would be very appreciated.

Take care
Posted by Earthur Aramxek
28th February 2009ce
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