West Kennet Long BarrowWest Kennet Long Barrow
English Heritage
Marlborough
Wiltshire SN8 1QH
 
 
 
 
If you are interested in pre-history, this is the perfect long barrow to visit. It is one of Britain’s most impressive and accessible Neolithic Chambered Tombs and is thought to have been built around 3650 BC. For a short time it was used for a burial chamber, nearly 50 people being buried there before the chambers were blocked.
 
Tip:
The West Kennet Long Barrow is part of the UNESCO ‘Stonehenge, Avebury & Associated Sites’ World Heritage Site. This site includes five other pre-historic locations and all archaeological finds are held in the Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury.
 
Begin your visit at the Museum to find out about the six sites within the care of English Heritage and their significance, including Avebury Stone Circle, West Kennet Avenue, The Sanctuary, Windmill Hill and Silbury Hill. Toilets and a cafe are available near the museum in Avebury.
 
West Kennet Long Barrow is in private ownership with English Heritage guardianship. It is managed by The National Trust on behalf of English Heritage, and the two organisations share the cost of managing and maintaining the property.
 
English Heritage Membership - Join here:    External Link

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The Barrow
The Long Barrow is in farmland just off the A4, three-quarters of a mile (1.2 km) south west of West Kennett village. West Kennett is on the A4 between Marlborough and Beckhampton.
 
A small lay-by car park has been provided for visitors. Take care to lock your car and cover personal possessions if using the car park – note the Police signs.
 
A half mile (805 metre) uphill walk along a gravel path from the road brings the visitor to the great 328 foot (100 metre) long grass covered mound and the large Sarsen boulders that guard its entrance.
 
After slipping behind the Sarsens, the visitor enters the ‘porch’ and then into the narrow passage which extends some 33 feet (10 metres) into the mound. Light filters in, however you will need an electric torch to inspect the side and end chambers.
 
Off this passage are five small chambers, two on each side plus an end chamber. Into these tombs bodies were said to have been left, placed in foetal positions (maybe to take up less space). Finally, when the bodies were reduced to skeletons, the loose bones were stuck between the rocks and boulders to make room for the next burial. It is no wonder that some visitors feel the barrow is ‘cold’.
 
Views
Do not forget to pause and admire the view from the top of the grass covered mound. To the north-west is the flat-topped cone of Silbury Hill and to the east is The Sanctuary on Overton Hill. From the top of the mound, the visitor is able to appreciate the isolated, wild landscape surrounded, in the summer months, by fields of beautiful wildflowers.
 
East Kennet Long Barrow 
To the south east is the tree covered East Kennet Long Barrow. The mound is 348 feet (105 metres) long and 19 feet (6 metres) high, however it has not been excavated. There are traces of Sarsen stones at the south-east end. This probably indicates a burial chamber. Darker crop growth in the surrounding fields could indicate side ditches.
 
Unfortunately, there is NO public access to the East Kennet Long Barrow site.
 
Plan Your Visit 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:    External Link
 
Opening Hours
All year during daylight hours.
 
Admission Costs
Free.
 
Disabled Access
It may be possible to approach the barrow mound with a wheel chair in good weather, however this is not guaranteed. There is no wheel chair access into the barrow. Assistance dogs only allowed.
 
Facilities
Free parking is available in the lay-by signposted on the A4.
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone  +44 (0) 3703 331 181
Mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Getting There
West Kennett is a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) walk along West Kennet Avenue south west of Avebury and the West Kennet Long Barrow is a further ½ mile (805 metres) across the A4 and near Silbury Hill.
 
To check times and frequency of public transport:
- Rail  - Web:   National Rail Enquiries    External Link
- Bus  - Web:   Traveline/ Plan your journey    External Link
 
- By Car (Strongly Recommended Method)
from London
Leave the M4 at Exit 15 and take the A346 south to Marlborough, a distance of about 8 miles (12.8 km). Take the A4 and follow it west for six miles (9.7 km) to West Kennett and Avebury. Park in the signposted lay-by about 3⁄4 of a mile (1.2 km) south-west of West Kennett.
 
- By Bus (The service is minimal)
Salisbury Reds and Connect2Wiltshire bus services run to Marlborough from Swindon connecting with the Great Western Railway at Swindon. Go to the Traveline website (link above) for bus details
 
- By Train
By Rail from London Paddington station to Pewsey. 
From London Paddington Mainline Station travel on the First Great Western service towards Exeter. Leave the train at Pewsey and catch bus route 5 or X5 to Marlborough. The bus service is minimal
 
From Marlborough there is a 1.5 mile walk to the West Kennet Long Barrow
 
Bus information at Pewsey go to Web:  National Rail Enquiries/ Pewsey pdf    External Link
 
Google Maps - West Kennet Long Barrow