Hi Richard, did you get to Silbury for the sunset yesterday?
I certainly did, and was just about to post a short report on it.
The sun did indeed roll down the hill, but I didn't do a very good job of capturing it, I'm sorry to say. In fact, I'm rather shame faced about it, having slightly botched both the photography and my choice of viewing location. In fact, I wish you'd been there, as I probably needed supervision!
I did nevertheless see the sun roll down the hill, so here's my account of the evening. All times given are British Summer Time (GMT+1).
I arrived there in good time, at about 7.45pm, with the sun still quite high in the sky over the hill. Yesterday was a very hot day in the south of England, with temperatures going above 30 degrees here in Winchester, and even at Avebury at that time the temps were still in the high 20s. It was a beautiful evening, warm and still, the crop fields burnished deep gold by the sun. I parked in the lay-by opposite Silbury Hill on the Marlborough road, crossed Pan Bridge and made my over to the foot of the rise that leads up to West Kennet Long Barrow. I continued on east along the Kennet a little way into the general viewing vicinity that you had indicated on one of your plans.
And I should have stayed there.
Just as I should have taken a copy of your plan, instead of relying on my increasingly collander-like memory.
But I still had a lot of time to wait at that stage, and decided to continue wandering east for a while, and then realised that I was getting too far away, and was losing the hill periodically behind trees and hedgerows. Anyway, after a fair bit of general dilly-dallying about, taking photographs of things and trying out different vantage points, and concerned that the now setting sun was way too far away from the hill, I walked back towards Silbury.
This is the view from near to West Kennet at 8.45pm. As you can see, from this position the setting sun is far from the hill.
Now seeing my error in having ventured too far to the east, I realised that the nearer I got to the hill, the more I was able to close the angle, as it were, thus "bringing" the sun closer to the side of the hill. But time was now ticking away. Sadly, therefore, thanks to all my faffing about, by the time I got to the viewing area, the sun had already started its roll. It proved very hard to photograph, despite much frantic fiddling with camera settings, and so the first usable picture I have of the roll is this one, taken at 8.48pm, although I observed the phenomenon from about a minute earlier, when it was quite high up the hill, if not at the top of it.
As you can see from the above picture, there's a notch in the hill towards the top, presumably caused by erosion around the summit, and it was from this position up the hill's flank that I first witnessed the roll.
Not much of a picture below, but this is the sun reaching the foot of the hill, at 8.50pm, seemingly caught in the V formed by the side of the hill and the farmhouse in the foreground.
And here's Silbury Hill at 9.06pm, the sun having now dropped beneath the horizon.
So I'm really sorry, I didn't do half as good a job on that as I wanted to. I really should have gone over the night before, even though it is the best part of a three-hour round trip, and confirmed a little more precisely the correct viewing location (and angle of view towards the hill), and got the camera better set up. Never mind. I got to see most of the roll. And it was a beautiful evening to be at Avebury, and I enjoyed the experience. If you know when it's going to happen again, please do let me know, and I'll try and do better next time. But there was still much to enjoy about it all.
I also got the chance to see the Silababy companion hill you have referred to elsewhere. Here it is, viewed from one field away, from the south.
And finally, to conclude the excitement for the evening, on the way home I witnessed a bizarre and unexplainable aerial phenomenon over some crop fields, but I'll write about that another time on a different thread.
Great pictures Richard and may I say its like you see two suns ...the white ball and then behind it a big yellow ball
in the next picture you see the white ball...the yellow ball and then the Big red Ball