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

Piggle Dene

Natural Rock Feature


Inspired by the arrival yesterday of the book "An English Countryside Explored - The Land of Lettice Sweetapple" (By Peter Fowler and Ian Blackwell) I set off this morning to do a circular walk through Piggledene over to Fyfield Down (now a designated nature reserve) and up to Devil's Den.

As Rhiannon pointed out in her fieldnotes, the A4 is fast and dangerous at the point of entry into Piggledene. The friend I walked with today left their car in Lockeridge Road at the small village of Fyfield (SU 145685) and we walked along a footpath for about a quarter of a mile before crossing over the A4.

My first visit to Piggledene was several years ago when I was still quite new to the area; subsequently I always thought without transport or a thorough knowledge of the landscape it would be difficult to access. I have since discovered the Wilts & Dorset bus route 96 (Swindon to Pewsey) also stops on the A4 at Fyfield.

As we climbed over the stile today, it was clear nothing had changed - no fox this time as there was on my first visit though still the strong sense of time standing still. A valley of greywethers with curious sheep in the morning sunshine; venerable old hawthorns and a clear trodden path to follow around to Fyfield Down. The obvious path is on higher ground above the stony valley, it was an incredibly peaceful walk along to Devil's Den. The knowledge that Devil's Den dolmen never existed in its present form until the early part of the 20th century (being on the remains of a genuine neolithic long barrow) does not detract from its stony charm.

This walk with clear directions and a map is available as a Ramblers publication "12 Walks Around Marlborough" either directly or from the Swindon Tourist Information Centre.
tjj Posted by tjj
21st October 2010ce
Edited 22nd October 2010ce

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