Elsewhere on this website, we have seen archaeological evidence of human activity in the Nettleton area, such as Neolithic burial mounds, Roman shrines and Medieval causeways. These are features either visible on the ground or which were discovered through excavation.

Here we take to the skies to discover more about our local area.

Historic England’s flying archaeologists have amassed some 400,000 aerial photographs over the past 50+ years, which are now available digitally. These aerial photographs have uncovered features such as cropmarks often only visible from the air.

Cropmarks may be a sign of buried archaeological features, such as ditches, wall foundations or the compacted surface of floors or ancient roads. These features affect the condition of the overlying land, which in turn determines crop growth. Thus, variations in the colour and depth of crops may be visible.

What follows are four examples of cropmarks indicating ghost settlements in the parish of Nettleton.

West of Nettleton Green

National Grid Ref: ST 8081 7825

The image below shows an extensive undated settlement with a circular feature, possibly a hut site, surrounded by many pits of various sizes, plus linear features.

North of Down Farm, West Kington

National Grid Ref: ST 7866 7743

The cropmarks in the image below are thought to reveal an undated settlement, including pits and enclosures.

South of Kington Down Farm

National Grid Ref: ST 7953 7690

Cropmarks in the image below indicate a settlement (undated) with pits, a possible hut circle, square enclosures and linear features.

South West of West Kington

National Grid Ref: ST 8056 7672

Cropmarks in the image below reveal an undated settlement associated with a rectangular enclosure with many pits.


Historic England. Available from: https://historicengland.org.uk [Accessed 23 March 2023]

Wiltshire and Swindon Historic Environment Record. Available from: https://services.wiltshire.gov.uk/HistoryEnvRecord/Home/Index [Accessed 23 March 2023]

Further Reading

  • For more on the history of Burton click here.
  • For British ghost villages: Green, Matthew (2022) Shadowlands: A Journey Through Britain’s Lost Cities and Vanished Villages


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