Reflections on long barrows

I have been reading a book called Hengeworld about Stonehenge, Avebury, the latest archaeological discoveries and what they tell us about the societies which built those extraordinary monuments.  As a child I lived under the Cotswold scarp dotted with mounds and barrows.  So shifting the huge Silbury Hill of horse manure which had been delivered to our allotment today was rather atmospheric in the gathering dusk with the church tower in the distance.

And my current stiffness as i type this makes me appreciate the remarkable earth-moving achievements of our neolithic  forbears.

I had earlier had the privilege of seeing the Kingsbury barns at the bottom of Fishpool Street.  Formerly part of the Express Dairies site, they are now to be re-united with Kingsbury Manor in front of them, restored and used to store vintage racing cars. 

This is an excellent outcome which will require the least intervention in these wonderful wooden structures.  The older barn at the back of the site has been dated back to 1375 by dendrochronologists, it has remains of wattle and daub on the inside walls and the original great beams - and it does not even feature in Pevsner. 

St Albans is a truly remarkable place - and hats off to the Singer family for preserving this part of our heritage.

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