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Stonehenge from the A344. Image credit Heritage Action

The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society (Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes) has announced that it, “…supports without reservation the proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) prohibiting motorised vehicles, with exceptions, on part of the A344 and the Byways within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.”
 

A guest feature by Littlestone

Silbury from Waden Hill. Image credit Moss
 
For as long as I can remember, the narrow path to West Kennet Long Barrow was just that – from the road up to the Barrow you’d walk the path across the water meadow, over the Kennet, take a left and then a right and you’d be on the narrow path with meadow pansies either side. No room for two abreast, just a little narrow path up the hill with the Barrow ten minutes ahead. Either side there’d be wheat or barley swaying like summer waves that you could reach out and touch and smell.
 
I’d delight in taking first-time visitors to West Kennet, up the narrow path single file, letting them go first with strict instructions not to look back until I said so. Halfway up I’d say, “OK, you can turn round now.” And there behind them would lie the grand sweep of the barley hill going down, Waden Hill on the other side going up, and at the centre of it all Silbury. What made the sight even more magical was that you were securely contained within the narrow path, a path that went up to the Barrow one way and down to the road and beyond the other. Either side was a friendly fence that held you in – neither real nor imaginary wanderings beyond the narrow path.
 
And then…
 
Two or three years ago it was gone. Path and the fields either side of it ploughed out into one greater field. And the path up to the Barrow in a different place, uncontained yet marked out and established with a plastic walkway. A little, hardly-noticed piece of magic, gone again from our heritage.
 
 
NB. The path in the photograph above is not the one in question, that has now gone, this one gives some idea of what the path was like, looking from the top of Waden Hill towards West Kennet Long Barrow on the hill beyond Silbury. This path can still be walked, but for how long…?

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