Challenge to local author over the future of Silbury’s ‘little sister’
In June this year, shortly after the Marlborough Mound in the college grounds was proved to be four and a half thousand years old rather than merely the base for a Norman castle, local author Mavis Cheek told Marlborough News Online she hoped it would be restored to look like its contemporary structure Silbury Hill.
Dubbed Silbury’s ‘little sister’, the Mound is looked after by a trust funded by former college pupil and enthusiastic conservationist Eric Elstob who died in 2003.
Once the Mound’s trees have been carefully removed, the trust wants it restored to look more like its eighteenth century incarnation as the centrepiece of Lady Hertford’s very decorative garden – complete with a spiral path (pictured left.)
In June Mavis Cheek wrote: “Gone, I hope, will be the shell grotto, the water feature, the silly trumperies of Lady Hertford’s eighteenth century excess – and returned to us will be the awesome site that we can stand and admire and know was one of the long-ago forerunners of our own innate spirituality.”
Now the archaeologist who worked on the successful dating of the Mound, has told Marlborough News Online that Mavis Cheek is wrong. Jim Leary backs the trust’s plans and says that while there’s a great discussion to be had about the Mound’s future, Mavis Cheek “is going down the wrong path.”