The Story of Silbury Hill

Paperback by Jim Leary, David Field, Foreword by David Attenborough


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  • Combines scholarly research and readable narrative in telling the archaeological story of Silbury Hill
  • Offers a new and exciting theory of the construction of Neolithic Mounds
  • New and vivid reconstruction drawings present a unique interpretation of this iconic prehistoric monument

Silbury Hill in Wiltshire is the tallest prehistoric human-made mound in Europe, similar in size to some of the smaller Egyptian pyramids. This new book, from authors with unrivalled information and knowledge of Silbury Hill, sets out the archaeological story of Silbury: from an early recognition of its importance to antiquarian and archaeological investigations of the hill.

The book describes each event, setting it within its own historical and political context; the story of the monument hanging off the enigmatic and eccentric characters of the time. The collapse on the summit in 2000, leading to the opening of the hill's famous tunnel in 2007 to much media fanfare, is covered. For the first time the results of the recent work are set out in detail, describing early activity on the site, the origins of the monument and the construction techniques used. Here, the authors propose a new theory of the process of construction and thus an new way of interpreting Neolithic monuments.

Vivid reconstruction drawings are used illustrate the authors' new interpretation of this iconic prehistoric monument. The book also describes how the monument was seen and used by later communities; from the Roman small town that grew up around the hill - the inhabitants quite literally living in its shadow; to medieval buildings on the summit. Finally, the book discusses what Silbury means to people today: its power and spirituality for locals, visitors, New Agers and Druids alike.


  1. The nature of time
  2. Kings, Druids and early investigations
  3. Into the twentieth century: Petrie, Atkinson and the BBC
  4. 'What do you mean there's a hole on top of Silbury?'
  5. Creating the mound
  6. Making sense of the mound
  7. Land, stones and the development of monuments
  8. From Small Town to Sele-burh
  9. The Timekeeper 


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