Posted by: travelrat | January 27, 2010

Silbury Hill

I’m looking for a word, or, at least a concise phrase, which will describe the sort of thing you wouldn’t make a special trip to see, but is none the less interesting to visit if you happen to be in the area. Maybe I shall have to make one up?

One example of such things is Silbury Hill, outside Marlborough, just south of the ancient stones of Avebury. If you want to get your money’s worth from the Avebury car park, it’s not too far to walk. That’s it you can see in the middle distance of my picture; the mound that looks like a UFO from The Invaders, or the Pizza Hut logo. The remarkable thing is … it’s man-made. In fact, the largest man-made mound in Europe.

Nobody knows who built it, though, or its purpose, apart from the fact it was built a very long time ago. We do know that the Romans, building a road in this area, uncharacteristically diverted the road around it. One thing about the Romans; they respected the religions of the people they conquered, and sometimes even absorbed their gods into their own pantheon.

That road is now the A4, which, until the motorway was built, was the main road from London to Bristol, so many people could see the hill. And, today, there are plenty of car parks and lay-bys in the area; even a viewing area. You can’t climb on it, though … that’s strictly forbidden. Like any hill, it’s best viewed from a distance anyway.

And, the thing Lorraine’s standing on? That’s the West Kennet Long Barrow … but I’ll keep that for the next time I can’t think of anything to post about.


  1. I’d call it the ‘simple pleasures sight’. You know it’s not a mind-bending tourist attraction, but something worthwhile seeing, nonetheless.

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