On Silbury Hill: a review

On Silbury Hill; Adam Thorpe
232 pages, hardback. Out now.

Review by Ben Myers

When it comes to the Neolithic antiquities that litter this island of ours – those stony secrets buried beneath the fetid top-soil – we keep returning to the same enduring question when confronted with this sentient mysteries: not always who or how or even when but why? Why is this here?

The standing stones of Stonehenge may capture international imaginations and provide easy access for passing tourists eager to tick the latest European stop-off from the list but any stone circle wandered or ley line diviner knows, Avebury and nearby Silbury Hill offer perhaps the more intriguing spectacle in the country. Why? is the invisible word writ large across its smooth, steep slopes. Why would anyone spend an estimated 18,000,000 man hours shifting 250,000 cubic metres of chalk over several decades to create the largest man made hill in Europe, a conical mound once bald and chalk-white, 130 feet (or 13 storeys) tall, a construction so impressive that “if the Titanic sailed just behind her in your dream, you would only see the smoke from the funnels”? Why, we wonder as we flock to it and point like primitives confronted with their first sighting of a comet. Why is it here?

Read the full review on Caught By The River….


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