Celtic Fields

The aim of our project is to use the LIDAR system to bring to light the ancient landscape around Bradford on Avon. Our best hope has been to recover the location and plan of early field-systems. As an example, photo A (top left) records a set of prehistoric fields on Chitterne Down, Salisbury Plain, which shows perfect preservation of the banks or ‘lynchets’ that enclose such fields.

Click the images to view larger versions

Our local landscape has been much changed over the years by farming, but you can spot early archaeology if the conditions are right, especially if pasture fields have been grazed down. Photo B (centre left) gives a hint of the ancient landscape between Winsley and Turleigh. A lynchet is just visible running downslope across the photo at the further edge of the pasture. It is captured very clearly on the LIDAR image C, where the arrow marks the viewpoint of photo B. This bank or lynchet is clearly part of an ancient field-system recorded in the LIDAR right across the landscape. Compare this image to the Chitterne Down pattern.

It looks as if our project is making progress, because these features form what is often called ‘Celtic’ fields, a type of field-system common from around 1200BC and continuing through the Roman period until AD450 or later. The footpath from Turleigh to the canal can be seen crossing the LIDAR image C (bottom left). Try this as a good route for spotting archaeology lurking in our countryside.


Get involved!

There are many ways to get involved with the project: looking at aerial photographs, field walking, helping to plot the findings on maps, to name but a few.  For those interested in helping with the project, we will also be running training sessions on identifying earthworks, and other skills.

If you are interested in getting involved with this exciting project, please contact Roy Canham on 01225 866748 or at roycanham@btinternet.com.

If you’re not sure what you could do to help, read our How To Get Involved blog post.

If you aren’t able to help, but you want to keep up to date, then please follow our blog.  We’ll be holding public talks and other events throughout the year, so look out for announcements here.

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