Long Barrows are long mounds which are made of huge stones which have multiple burial chambers in them. Probably the best known long barrow in Wiltshire is West Kennet Long Barrow which dates back to Neolithic Times.
To visit West Kennet Long Barrow you will need to park either in the car park next to Silbury Hill or the layby at the bottom of the field next to the A4, you will then need to walk about 800m up the track until you reach the barrow.
There are many types of barrow in Wiltshire most of them are round barrows (Tumuli) but you can get Bowl barrows and Bell barrows and even disc barrows. Round barrows date from the Bronze Age (2400BC-700BC) they are burial mounds which either occur in groups or in isolation or in lines . One of the best places to see a group of round barrows is on the ridge of sSugar Hill one and a half miles north west of Aldbourne where there are three bell barrows and one bowl aligned along the track which follows the crest of the hill .
West Kennet Long Barrow was built around 3500BC and is one of the largest prehistoric tombs in England and Wales. About 2200BC when the Stone Circle of Averbury was erected the use of the tomb came to an end and the large stone was erected at the front to block off the entrance passage.One of the biggest barrows in Britain, this is a spectacular barrow measuring 340 feet long by 75 feet wide, and a line of stones at its east end up to 12 feet high forming a corridor 40 feet into the barrow.
There are five sarsen stone chambers inside the barrow and they may be visited at any time by the public. From the many excavations carried out on this barrow there have been about 42 burials discovered belonging to a tribe or family.
Below an Article by Martin Newman
The West Kennett Long Barrow near Silbury Hill is without doubt a place of historic importance from the very distant past. Sitting high on the hill overlooking all the fields in every direction, this ancient site is yet another link in the chain of ancient sites across the country, and planet. It’s been some years since I have made a detailed examination of the power of the site, recording its ley structure and Yin and Yang forces passing through, at the time I was very impressed with what I found. From what I can remember of my notes made that day, I know the centre of energy and power was at the stonewall inside the chamber, here someone had placed in the stones a small bunch of wild flowers. When I saw the flowers it really made my heart skip a beat, it was like an offering placed there for the earth mother.
You could almost see a strong white light in the middle of this wall of stone, and right at this point some loving soul had placed these few wild flowers as a gift for life. What a huge task it must have been to build this stone barrow, many of the large stones must weigh many tonnes, and it was placed in such a way as to sit exact on the centre of the natural earth forces passing through. The people of the time when it was built must have had knowledge of the planets earth forces, to be so precise in building the barrow here. Just like Silbury Hill and other ancient sites, which were all, constructed at about the same moment in history, the sites were placed to benefit from the natural flow of the planets telluric harmonic earth forces.
This summer I never managed a walk up to the barrow, with so many fine crop circles in the area I was spoilt for choice, but it’s a place to spend some time. The huge cap stone at the entrance to the barrow was closed shut for many centuries, and inside the collection of bodies from past times numbered over 300 when it was first opened. These people must have been from the local area, who lived their lives in sight of the barrow where one day their body would rest, perhaps people of some importance and of high birth. Without doubt the knowledge that one-day they would rest in a sacred place inside the barrow was of great comfort to them, I feel sure entire families would have been interred here over the years. It’s a place where “mother earth” is very strong, and to place your dead loved ones here is to place them as close to heaven on earth as is possible.
I do need to return to the barrow when time permits, it’s a place where you can “find” yourself, a few moments here quiet and alone or in good company is special, away for the modern world and all it brings. Ancient man far from being some brainless hunting machine and barbaric individual was very aware of the planets special places, and he knew enough to bury his loved ones at these sites. Over time the influence of these ancient places has not changed, its still a place to visit and allow you to find its own level. You can learn your place in this world and given time become a better person, visit here when ever you can, a “better” you is just waiting to be released, West Kennett Long Barrow can do that for you.