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The Sweet Track 

NOTE: This is an archive page, please visit our new page on The Megalithic Portal for all the most recent information and see also the Avalon Marshes Visitor Centre page

Ancient Trackway, was at Peat Moors Visitor Centre (now closed), Somerset Levels 

A reconstruction of the Sweet Track
that you could walk on, at the visitor centre (now closed)
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The Sweet Track is a supreme, if not so obvious example of Neolithic engineering, 6000 years old. An elevated footpath that ran for almost 2km across the Somerset levels swamps. Extensive tree ring studies have shown that Ash, Oak and Lime trees were systematically cut, pre-fabricated and transported to the site, where they were built into a narrow footpath supported on crossed poles, driven into heavy poles underwater and pegged together. Finally the Oak walking platform was laid on top of the V shaped notch. All this indicates a high degree of organisation and forward planning.

Some repairs were carried out, but it is clear that the Sweet Track was only in use for around ten years, probably due to the rising water level engulfing it.

Pictured left is the Abbot's Way, a more recent trackway from only 4000 years ago that could also be road-tested at the excellent Peat Moors Visitor Centre (now closed)

Access: Sections of the Sweet Track are on display in the British Museum, London. The replica photographed above was at the Peat Moors Visitor Centre (now closed), near Glastonbury, along with many other finds and re-constructions of prehistoric life. In many ways this centre was like Butser Hill Ancient Farm in Hampshire, which is also well worth a visit.

Rating: (Visitor Centre) General Impression 5, Ambience 2, Access (now closed)

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