Marlborough has a very ancient history.
The earliest occupants of this river valley settlement were those enigmatic, adventurous people who first recolonised Britain after the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago in the Mesolithic period. These people were hunter gatherers who travelled seasonally up and down the valley, settling for a few weeks or months when it was suitable, then moving on to their next site. Tantalising evidence of such settlement sites has been found on London Road, Elcot Road and more recently just outside the town at Clatford.
By about 6,000 years ago, people in this area were starting to adopt the new technology that was revolutionising Europe - Farming: the Neolithic period. This meant that people, instead of living a nomadic lifestyle, were starting to commit to a particular part of the landscape, so that they could care for their animals and tend their crops. This commitment manifested itself in the form of monumental architecture - mainly tombs - a statement on the landscape that this patch of land belonged to them, and their ancestors before them, a declaration of ownership. The rise of farming in this area meant a more stable lifestyle, food so reliable that it even allowed a surplus for the winter months - the going was good! This led to an increase in population, who had available time for several months each year to develop craft skills (pottery, weaving, etc.) and to increase their statements on the landscape - in the form of large communal monuments such as Avebury, Silbury Hill and the Marlborough Mound. A small community of people settled in Marlborough on what is now Ducks Meadow.
The Marlborough Mound has now been dated to 2,400 BC, the same age as Silbury Hill .