This article came from Chronicle published October 1980. Pages: 6 & 8


Aerial Archaeology also Wells Cathedral from Yeovil

Author: W.T.J.Chapman


Aerial Archaeology

Quite recently I had the opportunity to combine business with pleasure. On a flight, in an aircraft travelling at about 120 m.p.h. at a height of 3500 feet. I was able to view the countryside on a beautiful summer’s day over a route which took us from Yeovil to the Isle of Wight.

Certain areas of archaeological interest caught my attention. Firstly, the erosion of tumili due to upland ploughing, and secondly, the majestic views of the great Dorset hillforts.

We flew over Hod Hill and alongsdie Hambledon Hill. The earthworks in the north-west corner of Hod Hill associated with the Roman conquest incorporated within the Iron Age ramparts stood out particularly well, due to the low sun angle. Knowlton was clearly defined with its ruins of a 12th century church with a 12th century tower contained within a Neolithic circle.

My brief sortie over Dorset (approximately 90 minutes duration) made it very clear how valuable aerial surveying and photography can be not only in examining existing sites but in locating new ones.

Wells Cathedral – a View from Yeovil

A lot of people do not realise that on a clear day, and from the right vantage point, it is possible to see Wells Cathedral from Yeovil!

From a point at O.S.Grid Reference 547181, the, west front, towers, nave, central tower and choir can be seen – subject, of course, to correct, weather conditions – at a distance of some eighteen miles as the crow flies.

Although the cathedral can be visible with the naked eye from the spot specified above, it is suggested that those interested in seeing the cathedral from here equip themselves with an ordnance survey map and binoculars.

A good locating point is the Wells television mast, as the cathedral lies only a few degrees to the west of this. Should anyone be interested in locating the cathedral from Marsh Lane, but have some difficulty in doing so, the Secretary would be happy to offer assitance.

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