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Furze Knoll

Furze Knoll is an enigma to me. It is such a unique, prominent wooded knoll, but it does not seem to have anything of historical significance written about it - unless I just haven't found it. But given its prominence in the landscape, the scale and size of it, the fact that it is close to multiple tumuli, earthworks and the Wansdyke, surely means it must have been of significance at some point in time.



Today, it serves me as a visual marker in the landscape. You can see it from multiple directions, from many miles away. A good example is this zoomed in image of Roundway Hill which was taken from Hag Hill near Trowbridge. You can clearly see the clump of trees on the knoll sitting behind, yet it is a distance of 10 miles away. So I use it to get my bearings when I am out and about - just the other day I was pointing Furze Knoll out to someone as I stood on Picquet Hill above Bratton. The other week it was visible when driving from the Pewsey Downs towards Devizes.


Furze Knoll visible from Hag Hill

Furze Knoll and the Wansdyke from Milk Hill

Walking up to it, it can be approached from the Morgan's Hill side where along the Wansdyke just after the radio masts you can turn tight and walk to the entrance. Or you can park just off the minor road from Bishops Cannings to Quemerford, and walk from the foot of the hill all the way to the top.



Once inside, a very surprising interior awaits discovery. In all the years I saw the knoll, I saw uniformity in the height of the trees and imagined them growing from a flat base. In reality, the knoll is steeply sloped, with ditches and gullies which gives rise to a ball shape of trees, which when seen from above looks like a head of broccoli.





I highly recommend a wander around the interior just to get an appreciation of the scale of the knoll. As the sun sets you get a wonderful scene as the tone of light changes, and the suns rays penetrate the gaps to make it feel like an eerie place as darkness comes.




After my visit I stumbled across this excellent drone video on youtube by Matt Gayton. It wonderfully captures the shapes and contours of Furze Knoll.



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4 comentários


Gerry Lynch
Gerry Lynch
27 de mar. de 2022

Excellent stuff. I love walking out to the Furze Knoll from Devizes via the White Horse, then back via Bourton Farm and Bishops Cannings.

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sassychalmers
20 de jan. de 2022

I went to Furze Knoll last night, just as the sun was going down. I also kept noticing it's shape in the distance, while exploring the Vale of Pewsey with a sketch book. It has a magnetic pull towards it, then when you step inside and see the complexed terrain, the banks and dips and hollows, it's almost unsettling, like entering another world.

There's a very powerful atmosphere up there, as though the tree's hold some secret of the past. The last streaks of red crashed through the bare winter branches. I managed to do a couple of drawings before the darkness, but I defiantly will go back, there are sort of voices inside this clump.

Sarah Chalmers

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Glyn Coy
Glyn Coy
20 de jan. de 2022
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Thanks for sharing your experience Sarah, as I agree, it definitely has an atmosphere. We went in there a few months ago at dusk and recorded our experience as we walked through in this podcast - the Furze Knoll section starts after 15 mins: https://www.hiddenwiltshire.com/post/podcast-14-wiltshire-clumps

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Matt Gayton
Matt Gayton
29 de jun. de 2020

Thanks for the link to my drone video!

I've also been trying to find out if Furze Knoll had any special significance in the past, but couldn't find anything either. It certainly doesn't seem like a random bunch of trees, given it's location in the landscape.

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