The British Landscape Club

Layby of the Week: Silbury Hill

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If your browser does not support Google Earth’s plug-in, here’s a real view of Silbury Hill, taken from just down the road by the Google Street Maps car.

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Either way, it’s an impressive structure - Europe’s largest man-made hill, it rivals some Egyptian pyramids in size and was built over successive generations from about 2400 BC. It is located in a landscape of dip and scarp, gently undulating chalk downs occasionally punctuated by imposing escarpments.

The recently synthesized view is that Silbury Hill, successive excavations of which have yielded no burials, was constantly tinkered with by our Neolithic ancestors as a kind of devotional labour, perhaps commemorating their ancestors who laboured for thousands of years building a ritual landscape in and around nearby Avebury, the site of the largest henge in the world - itself a devotional labour of epic proportions.

There’s a layby and viewing area a little to the west on the A4.

A view of a tiny part of the henge at Avebury.

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An aerial view.
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