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Tip o' the Week #100 - Weyden Mound

Dear [firstname]

This is my first Tip for a while as I have been completing my iBook, The Earth Mysteries Handbook: Holistic Non-Intrusive Data Gathering Techniques. Right now, it is being edited by Frances Howard-Gordon who edited both my Spiritual Dowsing and Labyrinths: Ancient Myths and Modern Uses, and it is also being formatted for iTunes and Amazon by Jay Pritchard.  So, as it is now their hands, I have time to tell you about a new discovery (for me) at Avebury that is presently called by archaeologists 'Weyden Mound.' It is at the southern end of Weyden Hill that visually separates Silbury Hill from the West Kennett Avenue.

Avebury is one of my teaching sites.  Every time I go there, I learn something new. I made the rough calculation of having visited this wonderful megalithic complex at least twice a year for the last 25+ years.  So in over fifty visits, I find it astounding that I have never noticed quite a large truncated cone call Weyden Mound even though I have passed within a football field of it at least twenty-five times on my way to the West Kennett Long Barrow!  As far as I know, it was first noted by a man named Pete Glastonbury who called it 'Silbaby',   I was taken there by Steve Marshall who knows Avebury like the back of his hand, and is writing a book on it this winter.  I went up there last weekend with Jamie George and his wife (my Editor) Frances Howard-Gordon and several other friends. 

Weyden Hill is located on the Roman Road that runs from Bath to London, and skirts the edge of Silbury Hill. Weyden Mound is less than a quarter of a mile East of Silbury Hill on the other side of the road.

Silbury Hill

Silbury Hill, Avebury
The Roman Road is on the other side of the hedge on the left

The West Kennett Long Barrow the largest and best preserved one in England is within two fields from Silbury Hill, the largest man-made prehistoric mound in all of Europe.

West Kennett

West Kennett Long Barrow

From the top of this Neolithic barrow, one can see both Silbury Hill and what is presently called 'Weyden Mound' and like it's big sister, it is a truncated cone.


Silbury panorama
We're standing on top of the West Kennett Long Barrow
with the stones marking the mouth of the chamber
in the lower right-hand corner of the picture. 
To the left is Silbury Hill.
Weyden (Odin) Hill is in the centre in the background.
Directly above the big white megalith (just to the left of our shadows)
and across the field toward trhe southern end of Weyden Hill is Weyden Mound.

This picture shows a good reason why Weyden Hill has not been generally known up until now.  Unlike Silbury, it is covered with trees, so it isn't easy to see not only at this distance, but up close as well.  Below are two stitched up panoramas of Weyden Mound:

BabySil Baby Sil 2
The side of Weyden Mound facing the West Kennett Long Barrow. The flat top of the cone is clearly visible.

To the right of the first picture.
Here the flat top and slopes are more visible.
(Yes, it is the same guy in the red jacket twice._

The Roman Road running West to East has Silbury Hill tangent to the North side of the road, and Weyden Mound is tangent (actually a bit cut in to) to the South.  The road runs on to the town of Marlborough, six miles to the East, where Merlin's Mount, another truncated mound can be found in the middle of the Marlborough College Campus.

 

Merlin's Mount
Merlin's Mount, Marlborough
(picture from <themodernantiquarian.com>)

So, what are these three truncated cones that are so close to each other doing?  What was their function?  The Silbury Hill treasure is an old story that has encouraged numerous legal and illegal digs in to the most famous of the three.  As far as is known, no treasure was found.  Merlin's Mound has a recent grotto (folly) in its side, but again, no treasure has been found. Wikipedia says it was a Moot Hill - where different tribes would meet on neutral turf to decide "moot points."  But why would there be three of them within six miles of each other?  And Silbury Hill and Weyden Mound are only about a quarter of a mile apart.

I don't have any answers, but it sure is a mystery worth exploring further.


 

}:-)
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Sig Lonegren
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