Map plotting uncovers new secrets

The previous blog described how we produce high quality images from the LIDAR for use in the plotting process. Recording archaeology is very much a mapping process. You need to know what’s been found and where. So we have started the plotting process using a GIS (Geographical Information System) in which we can plot archaeology using Ordnance Survey digital mapping as a base.

Click the maps below to view larger versions

The map shows initial results from the Little Ashley area. The curious earthworks near Chapel House Farm have been plotted – but we have no idea at present what they are! The orange lines are the banks of an ancient field-system, of the type known as ‘Celtic fields’. These are common on later prehistory (1200BC – AD43) and also in the Roman period, and may be contemporary with the Roman villa located at St Laurence School. The LIDAR is beginning to reveal ancient fields of this type right across our project zone.

The straight blue feature is intriguing. An 18th century map of the area shows a tree-lined avenue running from the former manor house at Little Ashley on this alignment. But the LIDAR indicates that it is a down-cut feature, and we believe it represents on old lane or holloway, so perhaps the planting of the avenue preserved an ancient route from Bradford to Little Ashley and perhaps on to Bath.


At the end of the project all the plots will be offered to the Wiltshire County Historic Environment Record.

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

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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