Illegal climbers are damaging rain-sodden Silbury Hill

So much rain has fallen that Silbury Hill now looks like it is surrounded by a moat

So much rain has fallen that Silbury Hill now looks like it is surrounded by a moat

First published in Latest News by , Senior reporter for Marlborough and Pewsey

A leading archaeologist has warned that illegal climbers are damaging Silbury Hill.

Heavy rain has led to standing water around the monument and the sodden ground is being eroded by trespassers climbing the hill.

Access to the man-made mound, which dates back to 2400 BC, has been prohibited for a number of decades.

Jim Leary, an archaeologist for English Heritage, said: "I would really ask people not to go up the hill. It is leaving some really rather hideous scars and eroding our beautiful monument.

"They are going up and it is very wet and they are eroding the side of the hill."

The hill is almost completely cut off by a moat with surrounding fields also underwater due to the recent heavy rain.

However, Mr Leary said that as far as the monument was concerned the flood water was nothing to worry about.

He said: "It is not a very common phenomenon but it has happened before in 2007 when it was very wet, and also in 2000.

"The mound has been there for 4,500 years and I'm sure it will continue to stand despite the weather."

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:16am Wed 9 Jan 13

beetawix says...

What is the point of a hill if you are not allowed to go up it?
What is the point of a hill if you are not allowed to go up it? beetawix
  • Score: 0

9:22am Wed 9 Jan 13

FromTheWirral says...

I thought it was more a 'monument' than a hill, albeit one that is unfortunately named.
I thought it was more a 'monument' than a hill, albeit one that is unfortunately named. FromTheWirral
  • Score: 0

10:26am Wed 9 Jan 13

Don Jones says...

beetawix wrote:
What is the point of a hill if you are not allowed to go up it?
Well, neither God nor nature stuck this one here. It's more of a big neolithic sandcastle than a hill.
[quote][p][bold]beetawix[/bold] wrote: What is the point of a hill if you are not allowed to go up it?[/p][/quote]Well, neither God nor nature stuck this one here. It's more of a big neolithic sandcastle than a hill. Don Jones
  • Score: 0

11:14pm Wed 9 Jan 13

beetawix says...

A leading archaeologist has warned that illegal climbers are damaging Silbury Hill.


His warning is too late if the damaging is in progress at the time of the warning.
A leading archaeologist has warned that illegal climbers are damaging Silbury Hill. His warning is too late if the damaging is in progress at the time of the warning. beetawix
  • Score: 0

9:38pm Thu 10 Jan 13

HughBriss says...

Perhaps climbers should be encouraged to carry a bag of earth up to the top (and leave it there, obviously). Then we could make it into a new people's monument.
OK, seriously, it is Europe's biggest man-made mound or something so maybe it should be protected.
When I walked past it last summer, I noticed somebody climbing it (on the side away from the road) so I rang 112 to tell the police what was happening. They had no idea what or where Silbury Hill is, nor what a protected monument is, in short, they couldn't give a toss. So I go back to my original suggestion, let's make it a public monument!
Perhaps climbers should be encouraged to carry a bag of earth up to the top (and leave it there, obviously). Then we could make it into a new people's monument. OK, seriously, it is Europe's biggest man-made mound or something so maybe it should be protected. When I walked past it last summer, I noticed somebody climbing it (on the side away from the road) so I rang 112 to tell the police what was happening. They had no idea what or where Silbury Hill is, nor what a protected monument is, in short, they couldn't give a toss. So I go back to my original suggestion, let's make it a public monument! HughBriss
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Fri 11 Jan 13

beetawix says...

I like the bag of earth idea.

Maybe we should plant a tree at the top.
Perhaps the tree roots would serve to prevent waterlogging.
This could create new interest as Silbury Hill and Tree.
However there maybe those that wish to climb both the hill and tree so nursing the tree to maturity might be more difficult than keeping scoundrels off of the hill.
I like the bag of earth idea. Maybe we should plant a tree at the top. Perhaps the tree roots would serve to prevent waterlogging. This could create new interest as Silbury Hill and Tree. However there maybe those that wish to climb both the hill and tree so nursing the tree to maturity might be more difficult than keeping scoundrels off of the hill. beetawix
  • Score: 0

10:38pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Daedalus says...

Frankly, Silbury Hill was much more 'interactive' and enjoyable when you were allowed to climb up.
Frankly, Silbury Hill was much more 'interactive' and enjoyable when you were allowed to climb up. Daedalus
  • Score: 0

2:12am Sat 12 Jan 13

Mrs Donnyfly says...

Let's face it, as it is Silbury Hill is pointless, so I suggest it's turned into a pleasure park. There could be a cable car to the top - no need to climb - and slides or chutes of varying degree of speed to get to the bottom, from novice to death-defying. With an ice cream van at the bottom there is everything for both families and the thrill seeker - a surefire winner.
Let's face it, as it is Silbury Hill is pointless, so I suggest it's turned into a pleasure park. There could be a cable car to the top - no need to climb - and slides or chutes of varying degree of speed to get to the bottom, from novice to death-defying. With an ice cream van at the bottom there is everything for both families and the thrill seeker - a surefire winner. Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: 0

10:08am Sat 12 Jan 13

beetawix says...

Mrs D's suggestion of a theme park if successful would put strain on the car park which might need expanding. Maybe a chain of Silbury Hills could be built.
If none of this works we should move all the hills to Salisbury Plain (the travelling Silburys) to create a puzzler for future generations.
Mrs D's suggestion of a theme park if successful would put strain on the car park which might need expanding. Maybe a chain of Silbury Hills could be built. If none of this works we should move all the hills to Salisbury Plain (the travelling Silburys) to create a puzzler for future generations. beetawix
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Sun 13 Jan 13

shed says...

if it was levelled out to fill up the bit were the water is, then they could get rid of that nasty bend.
if it was levelled out to fill up the bit were the water is, then they could get rid of that nasty bend. shed
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree