Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday and Silbury

Paul Nash's Silbury Hill

Yesterday I moved many old photos from the old external hard drive onto this computer, and mused through them.  In the end I chose Silbury, Neolithic mound or hill, for the top.  It had figured so much in my life.  From the first moment I saw it and decided to move to the small town of Calne, through the times I walked this famous Neolithic landscape forty years ago with a dog.  I had explored West Kennet Long barrow, East Kennet long barrow, the great circle of Avebury and Windmill Hill. Marvelling at the ancientness of such a landscape, history still drawn with a very light pencil in the fields.  The times when the small river had flooded into the fields, the anger at the National Trust making a path up to the long barrow and destroying the field pansies in the process.

Avebury is a tourist 'hot spot' now, people potter around the stones, pagan religions welcome the solstices and equinoxes, putting their own brand of religion onto a prehistoric past they know little of.
Archaeology was to be the base of my learning when I remarried, and when I divorced I met someone else in the magic circle of stones, who would share my interests and to whom I am completely grafted to....

I have gathered the words of the writers who have stopped here, William Morris as a young lad down at Marlborough College, coming to see the 'Lions of Avebury', he meant the pub.  Jacquetta Hawkes and Edward Thomas all have visited in their time and wondered at this great chalk mound, why was it built.  My explanation  is that it was symbol of power, a prestigious thumbs up to the gods that were worshipped.  There was in actual fact two other mounds built in the area, one that still resides in the grounds of Marlborough college, the other destroyed.

The old willow at the crook of the river

West kennet long barrow

The river in flood

the barrows that overlooked the 'processional way' to the Avebury stones

The stones of Avebury on a chill morning

New druids?

The Avenue; The path of stones curving, with my constant companion Moss
The Red Lion framed by the stones

We had walked the 'Green road' that time

January snow in Avebury

The Cove and someone who has left this Earth, but so happy at the time with her friend.
 I should not end on a sad note, but perhaps Avebury and Silbury mark the passage of time, short for me, but historically the stones survive the centuries because of their ancestral history and the knowledge that the human race always strives for something.

And something else, a video 'This is Shetland' takes you on a magic tour of water, whales? dolphins and a land as yet untroubled by the scars of a modern world.

East Kennet long barrow

The mysterious East Kennet long barrow, still unexcavated


  1. Don't know this part of the world at all Thelma but the photographs certainly make me want to visit. Love the snowy one.

  2. To wake up to a snowy Avebury is a rare event, problem though is lots of visitors during weekends and week days, but it was lovely to explore in winter.

  3. Oh, I loved this post. The photographs are beautiful -- moody and full of mystery and Moss. I am a fan of standing stones (we don't have any here in the US) and I am dying to see Avebury and West Kennet. And to see them in snow would be a dream come true.

    1. Hello Vivian, snow has become quite rare in England, but the stones, which are huge stood out on that day, a never to be forgotten experience. ;)


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