Wednesday 3 January 2018

Kitchen Barrow, Sun and Stones

Pastscape describes Kitchen Barrow at Horton in Wiltshire thus:

Neolithic long barrow on Kitchen Barrow Hill, listed by Grinsell as Bishops Cannings 44. The barrow is extant as an earthwork mound 34 metres long, 18 metres wide and up to 2.7 metres high. The side ditches are 8 metres wide and up to 40 cm deep. Grinsell referred to a sarsen protruding from the north east end, but this can no longer be seen. 5 sherds of Roman pottery found on the surface are in Devizes Museum. The long barrow has also been recorded on aerial photographs.

I visited close to the Winter Solstice at sunset to see if there was any possible alignment. No is the simple answer. While the barrow is better extant to the South East the shape of the ditches suggest the entrance would have been a the North Eastern end which has been mostly destroyed. Grinsell's sarsen (or at least a sarsen) sits in the middle of the barrow towards the north. I also noted as I have done before slivers of limestone in molehills in the ditches towards the northern end which suggest it had walling similar to West Kennet Long Barrow.

If the entrance was to the northeast then the barrow would have echos of Stoney Littleton where the hill slopes upwards from it. Would it then have pointed to the Mid Summer Sunrise or is it as most Long Barrows seem to be at an inexplicable angle apart from being best positioned to show off side on?

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