The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Piggle Dene

Natural Rock Feature


The A4 is a race track here and there is nowhere safe to park - I left the car up the road at Fyfield (a bus between Calne and Marlborough would stop here too). There is a footpath all the way back, though it's a bit terrifying with the lorries flying past, and then you still have to make a mad dash across the road. But then it's a quick hop over the stile, you're in, and it's an oasis of calm.

Fittingly there were lots of sheep mixed in with the stoney 'greywethers'. But they weren't impressed with my intrusion and quickly set off, bleating madly.

I had had some daft idea to walk from here to the stones at Fyfield Down, but soon realised that there was more than enough to occupy me here (and also it was way too far for me today). If you can't get to Fyfield Down, but want to see the sarsens in somewhere that feels a little bit more remote than Lockeridge Dene, then Piggle Dene would be the place.

Some of the stones are little, and some are really huge. Lots of them have extraordinary shapes - sticky up bits, curvy bits, dippy bits. Most of them are smothered in lichens of all colours, many of which are rare (contributing to the SSSI status of the site).

Some of the stones have been split - I found a few where I could see where someone had attacked them, but others to the untrained eye looked unchiselled. I wish I knew more about the subject.

I stayed here for a couple of hours and didn't see a single person - though I was the star attraction for many many pairs of sheepy eyes.

I couldn't help feeling that the stones were like a river in their dry valley - a valley that feeds down into the Kennet. I also had this strange feeling that they were bursting out of the ground - that the ground was producing them. It's true I wanted to lay my head on them and see what I dreamt. More practically, because they're in the bottom of the valley, you can examine just about all of them without doing any climbing up and down slopes. You just have to watch out for the nettles and the sheep poo.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
9th July 2009ce
Edited 19th July 2016ce

Comments (1)

It definitely feels like a stone river, similar to the one at Carn Meini. Piggle Dene is very much a place of mystical folklore, the gnarled, twisted old trunks of the hawthorns, as they nestle next to the stones makes you think of fairies perched there holding discourse under magical trees.
You can see why people are not encouraged to go there though, the road is so dangerous to walk beside and cross - a small tunnel from the other side?
moss Posted by moss
3rd August 2009ce
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