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“look but dont touch” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Silbury Hill

Silbury Hill
Avebury, England
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Ranked #5 of 5 Attractions in Avebury
Type: Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Outdoors
Attraction details
Ramsbury, England, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“look but dont touch”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

silbury hill is the largest man made mound in europe and is great to see as part of a trip round.you can not get close to the mound and you are not allowed up it.At the moment the mount is surrounded by water due to all the rain.There is a car park to view it,if you want to be closer you have to walk along the a4.in summer time there is often sheep in the field and on the mound.please note that at no time in the year are you allowed to climb silbury hill due to a varity of reasons.if you combine your tip to avebury stones,west kennet long barrow and silbury hill its not a bad day out.

Visited February 2013
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28 reviews from our community

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  • English first
  • Italian first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
67 attraction reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Nothing else like it anywhere.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

The largest man man mound in the whole of Europe and no one really knows why it was made. It is a great place to visit if you are going in that direction as it is after all a world heritage site. A plaque stands by the surrounding fence giving an insight as to why the mound may have been made. You are unable to get anywhere close to the mound but that won't stop you from still being able to snap some terrific pictures.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
49 attraction reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
“Quick stop off”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

We visited here in October with our daughter on an extremely cold and windy day.

Silbury Hill is on the A4 east of Beckhampton and one mile from Avebury.

A huge artificial mound with a level top, Silbury Hill’s purpose is still a mystery nearly 5,000 years after it was constructed. Whatever its purpose was, and there are many theories, it sits proudly in the Wilshire countryside looking very impressive and proud.

There is a viewing platform where you can view the hill. There was an informative plaque explaining the history and how archaeologists think it was constructed and excavation information.

Items found during the excavations included plants, wood, human skeleton, a bridle, shells, ox bones and antlers.

We were disappointment that we couldn't climb the hill, but understand this was due to previous excavations which had left the hill vulnerable and there is also subsidence.

Although there is nothing else to see here, it is worth seeing. 15 minutes, 20 tops here should be enough.

There were no crowds, shops or toilets.

The car park was free and a reasonable size.

Visited October 2012
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Devizes, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
309 reviews 309 reviews
195 attraction reviews
Reviews in 126 cities Reviews in 126 cities
658 helpful votes 658 helpful votes
“The largest man-made mound in Europe”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

As with West Kennet Long Barrow, Silbury Hill is considered to a part of the complex surrounding the stone circle at Avebury. It sits adjacent to the busy A4 route about 500 meters east of Beckhampton and one mile south of Avebury. It is a huge, artificial mound with a flat top, about 40 meters high and a base circumference of 530 meters. It is estimated that the mound comprises some 340,000 cubic meters of chalk and soil and its base covers slightly more than 2 hectares.

It was built in several stages, commencing in approximately 2700BC. The final phase saw the building of six concentric terraces which were then covered with chalk, rubble and soil to form a conical mound. Each of those six steps were concealed within the profile of the mound, with the exception of the last one which was left as a terrace and can be seen about 5 meters from the summit. Archaeologists estimate that in excess of 18-million man-hours would have been required to complete the structure.

Its use or purpose is still wrapped in mystery today; nobody can be really sure. There are theories and ideas that claim it to be a burial mound, a memorial to a monarch and a treasure vault. Ancient folklore tells of the Devil wanting to empty a huge sack of soil onto the town of Marlborough but was forced to drop it here by the sorcery of the priests at Avebury.

The first excavations took place in 1723 which unearthed some human bones and a horse’s bridle. Further work took place in 1776 and 1849 but clues were not forthcoming. In 1967, a new excavation got underway and although there were still no real ideas as to the hill’s function, radio-carbon dating placed the mound at about 4,600 years old. Evidence gleaned from preserved flying ants discovered embedded in the soil place the beginning of work to have been in late July or early August, in what was the Celtic festival of Lugnasadh at the start of the harvest season.

More recent studies have raised suggestions that Silbury Hill is a symbolic effigy of the Mother Goddess and could have been associated with fertility rituals, marking the course of the year. More interestingly still, the hill could have been used as an accurate solar observatory by using the mound’s shadows cast upon the flattened area of plain to the north of the hill. The meridian line from Silbury runs through Avebury church which itself sits astride the ley-line joining Stonehenge and the stone circle at Winterbourne Abbas.

Silbury is a centre for alignment of prehistoric tracks, resurfaced by the Romans and of stone circles. The Roman road from Marlborough to Bath runs directly towards the mound before swerving to avoid it. This indicates that the Roman roads followed existing tracks or ley-lines.

Whatever function it may have served, Silbury Hill stands as a mystery on the undulating plains of Wiltshire

Visited August 2012
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3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“European pyramid”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

Nice for children to climb up the hill. A hawk flew over us, looking for food.
Across the road we saw a cropcircle too.

Visited July 2012
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