2019 in review

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

From the 1917 post - photo by Paul Timlett

Hidden Wiltshire's year of 2019 began with a post about 1917. Planning applications were being seen in pockets of open space around Shrewton as the filmset for the Sam Mendes movie "1917"was to be built on Salisbury Plain. The film will be released on 10 January 2020 and I will be watching it with an eye out for familiar spots.

This first post was contributed by Paul Timlett, as this year I opened up to the site to guest contributors which in my humble opinion enriched the content of the site and the facebook page. Paul contributed a number of blog posts over the year, opening up large parts of the Wiltshire landscape as he described his walks and accompanied them with beautiful photos.

Wiltshire's wartime past became UnHidden during the year too, as John Grech opened us up to his hobby of finding old military concrete. This led to interesting posts about the Seagry Spitfire Memorial and the Dakota memorial near RAF Zeals. This led to a couple of my own sojourns around Whaddon and Semington where I discovered multiple pillboxes and the odd tank trap, as well the older hidden gems like the 300 year old packhorse bridge at Whaddon. It also led me to the long gone RAF Ramsbury, where I attended a special day attended by the USAF 437th Operations Group, whose predecessors served at Ramsbury in the war years. Several memorials were dedicated on that day, as a low flying USAF C17 aircraft did a fly past. Moving back to the present day, Paul Timlett took a trip out to the unmarked village of Copehill Down on Salisbury Plain, where an uninhabited village has been built by the army for training.

The Packhorse Bridge at Whaddon

I continued my journey around Wiltshire's hidden prehistoric sites such as Knook Castle and Castle Rings Fort, and Sara French wrote a nice piece about Lanhill Long Barrow near Chippenham.

Castle Rings Fort

It was also nice to see some well researched contributions from Steve Dewey, who I now view as a master of the byways on Salisbury Plain. His piece about the Black Heath and the Old Slow Coach Road were the most popular posts on the site, and serve as fascinating insights into the forgotten history on the plain which is hidden, but can be found if you look carefully enough.

Milestones along the Old Slow Coach Road - by Steve Dewey

So what does 2020 hold in store for Hidden Wiltshire? I certainly hope as the weather improves and people get out and about more that we will continue to get some guest contributions. I will definitely be out in the landscape trying to find more places to share. But I also have plans to make 2020 an Iron Age year, as I will be exploring all the known Iron Age locations in the county with a view to releasing some form of new publication at the end of the year, either as a book or a magazine.

For those of you who read the site or appreciate the photos on social media - I thank you. My extra special thanks go to Paul Timlett, John Grech, Sara French and Steve Dewey for your photographic and written contributions. I also want to thank those facebook followers who post their pictures on the facebook group - always appreciated.

So I hope you all had a good 2019, and will stick around for 2020 ! We make slow but steady progress here, on a quest to open up as much of hidden Wiltshire as we can for as long as it takes.

Sarsen Stones at Piggledene