Wind Mill Hill

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Windmill Hill Signpost


Written history relating to Windmill Hill is sporadic spanning from John Aubrey in the 1680's, William Stukeley in early 1719's, Sir Richard Colt Hoare in the 1800's, with records increasing during the twentieth century from Rev. H.G.O. Kendal in 1910,   O.G.S. Crawford and Alexander Keiller in 1924, T.D. Kendrick and C.F. C. Hawkes in 1932, later to appear as the Windmill Hill Culture through the perceptions of Stuart Piggott. Today this site and indeed the whole area of the Avebury complex have dedicated archaeologist studying and publishing on the area and raising awareness.

Windmill Hill is probably less known when considering other well known features within the Avebury complex. Overall its use to some degree is contemporary with the West Kennet Barrow relative to the present methods of carbon dating available. Wind Mill Hill is classified as a causeway enclosure within archaeology terms, this being three concentric circler ditches which has been dug into the hillside. This feature does not stand alone in its typology where similar structures in the landscape traverse the lowlands of Southern Britain. Its catchment area if a line is drawn from the River Seven to West Yorkshire, east and south of this would capture those presently known into one area of distribution.

Visitors to this part of the Avebury complex today will find an open grassy field with several visible and later Bronze Age round barrows. Together with the earlier Neolithic three circular ditches which forms this causeway enclosure. There is no grandeur feature of a standing stones only the surviving earthworks. These might be nothing to get excited about, apart from walking softly with the ancestors in time and space. It’s only when information is gathered from many written recordings and individual archaeology investigation this site comes alive. When the findings become compared to other relative causeway enclosures, similarities and patterns emerge, to create an image, of human activity.

The use of human occupation or use of Windmill Hill occurred from the fourth through and into the third 3rd millennium BC. The three ditches were dug in some form of order and appear to be all contemporary with each other, yet the sequence in which the occurred is a mater of speculation. Nonetheless the final form of the three concentric circular images, has led towards suggestions where specific areas within its confines were areas, where specific human activity took place. Additional interpretations led towards activities relating the enclosure not only to be a representation of a Neolithic microcosm, activities within, eventually reflected the understanding with the larger world, played out in unison with natural circles in rhythmic harmony with nature. Activities of feasting; trading; exchange; food production; raising domesticated animals, people coming together is reflected in the archaeology assemblage. Importantly Neolithic people can together for dealing with the natural world and its agencies through human burial.

An individual contribution to the Avebury Project could assist to release from the archive additional information held on this monument. 

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Off Site Web Resources

Windmill Hill from Avebury Present to the Past

Windmill Hill from the National Trust

Windmill Hill from Wikipedia

Windmill Hill from the Modern Antiquaian

Windmill Hill information sheet from Wessex Archaeology

Windmill Hill an article in the British Achaeology Magazine Oct 2002

Windmill Hill report on "Human remains from Windmill Hill and West Kennet Avenue, Avebury Parish, Wiltshire, held by the Alexander Keiller Museum Dr. Ros Cleal, Curator, Alexander Keiller Museum, 2008"

Videos relating to Windmill Hill, Avebury

Phil Harding introduction to the Neolithic Period in Wiltshire


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