45 episodes

Join photographers Glyn Coy and Paul Timlett as they work their way around this ancient, historic county and talk about what they have found.

Hidden Wiltshire Podcast Hidden Wiltshire

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Join photographers Glyn Coy and Paul Timlett as they work their way around this ancient, historic county and talk about what they have found.

    Weird Wiltshire

    Weird Wiltshire

    Another location recording and once again it didn’t quite go to plan. The never ending rain led to some of the worst flooding we’ve seen in years and when faced with the sight of a car marooned up to its windows in a flood we decided the sensible thing to do would be to turn round and find another location. But as ever you will have to listen to the podcast to find out where we were.

    In this episode we welcomed a guest. Emma Heard runs the Weird Wiltshire website, and we asked Emma to join us to tell us some of the stories she’s gathered over the years about strange goings on in Wiltshire. 

    But first we had a quick rundown of what the Hidden Wiltshire team have been doing since the last podcast. 

    Glyn delivered a talk at Trowbridge Museum about all things hidden Wiltshire. He must have done something right as they’ve asked him to go back and do another one!

    We wanted to congratulate our friend Paul Whitewick after he clocked up 100,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. He began by making films about abandoned railway lines, canals and roads but this has evolved over time. Basically anything intriguing that Paul has discovered from looking at old maps is fair game. You’ll find a link to his channel in the links section below. 

    Meanwhile our own Paul attended a public drowning in Salisbury. This was not some sort of gruesome form of Medieval torture but a demonstration of how drowners would have flooded meadows years ago in order to raise the temperature of the fields to promote earlier grass growth. The demonstration was at the water meadows in West Harnham and was attended by a couple hundred people. We’ve talked about this practice often at Hidden Wiltshire so it was fascinating to see it in action, and interesting to hear that the practice may be reintroduced in some places as a flood defence measure.  You can find out more at the Harnham Water Meadows Trust website using the link below. 

    Glyn wrote a blog about Rybury Camp in the hills above Pewsey Vale after he was asked by local farmer Tim Daw to take some drone footage of the area. Tim is famous for building a modern day long barrow at All Cannings. (We interviewed Tim a couple of years ago in Podcast 35 – there’s a link to this below.) Glyn filmed the area in a time of drought when crop marks can reveal many previously hidden historical features. Tim had a theory that there may once have been a henge in the area. You can read Glyn’s blog using the link below. 

    Next Elaine talked about her blog on the subject of the Knights Templar entitled Temple Bottom and of the Last Templar. She gave us a brief history lesson on the Knights Templar and their link to the Knights Hospitaler. You can read Elaine’s blog by using the link below. 

    Finally Paul talked about his most recent walk in the countryside around Tisbury. You will find a link to the associated blog below. This walk included visits to three castles - two obvious ones (Old and New Wardour Castle) but also the lesser known Iron Age hillfort of Castle Ditches that commands the heights above Tisbury. 

    We then moved onto the special topic of this episode of the podcast. Emma Heard began Weird Wiltshire as a lockdown project in 2020. Since then it has developed and grown, and despite having a day job Emma spends a lot of her time exploring and listening to stories of ghosts, spirits and strange goings around Wiltshire, thereby keeping alive a folklore tradition dating back many hundreds of years. She shared with us just a few of the stories she has come across, and we finished by sharing some of our own. 

    Then on to the wrap up for this episode: 

    There are still a few copies of the Hidden Wiltshire book available on the website – link below. 

    Thanks as always go to Steve Dixon for the music. As usual the piece at the beginning and the end of the podcast is called “The Holloway”, whilst the piece in the middle is called appropriately enough, “Play Dead”. 

    Podcast Sp

    • 1 hr 4 min
    A Meander Along Some of Wiltshire’s Rivers

    A Meander Along Some of Wiltshire’s Rivers

    It only seemed like a few days since our last podcast recording – and that’s because it was! Glyn, Elaine and Paul assembled at a secret location to record our first podcast since June. There was much to catch up on and, though we say so ourselves, it went swimmingly with much hilarity and spontaneity. However, there was one small problem – the mics failed to record. Anything. Anything at all. So we reconvened three days later in the same outdoor location to do the whole thing again. You will have to take our word for it when we say that the loss of the original recording will forever be a loss to humanity! 

    We’re not going to tell you where we recorded. You will have to listen to the podcast to find out. But it provided lots of wonderful ambient noise as we waffled on! 

    But first we opened with a review of some of what has been going on in the Hidden Wiltshire world since June. And there was a surprising amount to talk about. So we picked out some of favourite moments. 

    In what was a busy six months Elaine highlighted her blog entitled The Selwood Triangle, which you can find using this link - The Selwood Triangle. It had over 5,000 views in just four months and whilst the record is held by Glyn’s Boxhill Circular Walk blog with over 12,000 views that particular blog was published a few years ago. However, Elaine’s blog attracted a huge amount of attention on social media and sadly brought out some of the worst of the social media warriors with one or two particularly unpleasant comments. But the overwhelming number of people enjoyed it, understanding that it was just a bit of fun! 

    Elaine also highlighted her Fisherton Anger blog which you can read here - The Lost Settlement of Fisherton Anger. A little known village whose name has long since been lost as it became subsumed by Salisbury. But some of its streets and monuments can still be found if you know where to look. Fortunately Elaine does as she used to live there. 

    Paul had his usual sojourn across the Channel in the last couple of months so his activity was mainly confined to November with two longer walks - Egbert's Stone, The Harrow Way and a Splendid Bottom, and Tisbury and Oddford Vale. Both were suggested by Hidden Wiltshire follower Jill Caudle. The first provided a rather neat connection with the location for today’s recording. 

    Meanwhile Glyn has been concentrating on his talks and delivered one at Royal Wootton Bassett Library and another at Salisbury Library. Glyn also led three walks for Wiltshire Museum in support of Anna Dillon and Hedley Thorne’s exhibition there entitled Wessex Airscapes, which was accompanied by a wonderful book – Elevating Wiltshire written by Anna’s father Patrick Dillon and illustrated with her paintings and Hedley’s aerial photography. Finally Glyn wrote an article on his Top Ten Secret Spots for Emma Heard’s Weird Wiltshire. 

    Before moving onto our main theme we had a good old rant. We have been collaborating with the aforementioned Hedley Thorne and Paul Whitewick (of YouTube fame) to highlight the challenges the public have in accessing many of our green and blue spaces. In particular we talked again about the anomaly of Open Access areas in which there is a right to roam, but as an example of extreme irony cannot be reached without trespassing in so many cases. Paul Whitewick supported by Hedley Thorne recorded a great YouTube video about this which you can see here - How is it illegal to access public land. 

    Our main theme in this podcast was a look at some of the 39 rivers that flow through Wiltshire, which include three River Avons and even the Thames! But it was also an opportunity to have a bit more of a rant – this time about the pollution of our rivers. However, on a more positive note we focused on some of our better known rivers including the Bourne and the Hampshire Avon. Of course Paul got in more than one mention of his beloved Till. And we couldn’t not mention the Wyly

    • 54 min
    Some of our Favourite Woods

    Some of our Favourite Woods

    Glyn, Elaine and Paul are back with another episode of the Hidden Wiltshire podcast, and once again have returned to record outside at a mystery location. You’ll have to listen to find out where we were. There are lots of links to things we discussed in this episode in these show notes.

    Before we moved onto the main topic we had the usual run down on what we’ve been up to since the last podcast. And there was an awful lot to talk about so some of it was consigned to the cutting room floor!

    Glyn led a Wiltshire Museum walk with David Dawson which was timed to enable a visit to Oare House whose gardens were open to the public for the day. They took in some of the scenes for paintings by Eric Ravilious who was invited to stay there in 1932. The walk took in Gopher Wood, one of the most stunning sites for bluebells in the county.

    Glyn also ventured north, not to Yorkshire but to Royal Wootton Bassett to deliver his Wiltshire Blind House talk at the library.

    Meanwhile Elaine has been as busy as ever and has posted a few new blogs on the website including one based on the border of Hampshire where she followed the Shire Rack footpath and discovered connections with Jack the Ripper! You can read her blog here: The Borderlands, Shire Rack and Jack the Ripper

    Elaine also touched the border of Dorset with a soggy but inspiring visit to Mere, a town worthy of an entire blog in itself. You can read about her visit on the Hidden Wiltshire Facebook page.

    Glyn also finally wrote up his visit to another Wiltshire town, the beautiful and historic Malmesbury with tales of flying monks and tigers. You will find his blog on the website here Malmesbury - St Aldhelm, King Athelstan and Eilmer the Flying Monk

    Paul has only recently returned from his Spring residency in France (complete with wife who broke her ankle there) so had little to share that was Wiltshire related. However, it was interesting to discover that on Wiltshire Day, 5 June, the Thames Path National Trail tweeted a recommendation of Paul’s walk around Inglesham Church and the Thames Path which you will find in his blog on the website here Medieval Inglesham - Three Counties Walk

    Long term followers of Hidden Wiltshire may be familiar with the story of Alan Dodson who contacted us after our podcast about Imber, podcast number 2! Alan lived in Warminster for a few years as a child when his father was transferred here in the last war. Alan was trying to locate a cottage he used to visit somewhere on the Imber Range, long since demolished. Some people may be aware of the archaeological dig which is taking place at Imber at the moment led by Operation Nightingale, the veterans’ charity. Paul contacted them about Alan’s story and within a day or so two people both identified a possible location for the cottage. Paul has written to Alan to see if he thinks this is the place.

    Finally in our round up we wanted to mention the work of some friends – Hedley Thorne (Hedley Thorne), and Paul and Rebecca Whitewick (Paul and Rebecca Whitewick). They are prolific bloggers, You Tubers and podcasters (Wessex Ways) writing and filming about ancient trails, railways and canals amongst other things, much of it in Wiltshire. We share a common passion about rights of ways and in particular blocked or lost footpaths and bridleways. In the podcast we had an extended chat about this, particularly as both Elaine and Glyn have had walks thwarted by blocked rights of ways recently. We mentioned the tool that has been developed by The Ramblers called Don’t Lose Your Way which seeks to save lost paths before the Government closes the book forever in 2031 on any chance of having them reinstated. You can read about the tool here Don't Lose Your Way.

    We then began our discussion of some of our favourite woods in Wiltshire. Elaine chose the much loved Bentley Wood just to the south of Salisbury close to the border with Hampshire, a historic Royal hunting ground mentioned in the Domesday Book

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Some of Wiltshire's Nature Reserves

    Some of Wiltshire's Nature Reserves

    We’re back. After a break of what feels like years, but may only be about five months, we’re reinvigorated and ready to beguile our audience with more Hidden Wiltshire nonsense.

    Towards the end of 2022 Glyn and Paul had reached burn out after 41 episodes. We needed a break to think about what to do and where to go next, whilst sticking firmly to Wiltshire. Whilst we were away from the podcast we continued to pepper the Facebook page and website with blogs. But if we’re honest our survival was mainly due to the new member of the Hidden Wiltshire family – Elaine Perkins. Elaine has been posting blogs for some time now and has brought fresh impetus to what we do. But we weren’t going to let her get away with just that!

    So, please welcome Elaine to the podcast. This is her first and she took to it like a duck to water.

     We had planned to record this episode on location at Morgan’s Hill to the north of Devizes. But with winds of 60mph and heavy rain forecast we decided the top of a hill was not the most sensible place to be! As it was, despite being ensconced in a spare bedroom at home, Paul still sounds like he was recording in a wind tunnel.

     As usual we began this episode by looking back at what we’ve been doing since the previous episode. And since that was in November 2022 the answer is - quite a lot. So we had a not so quick run through the blogs. You’ll find links to them below.

     Firstly, Elaine revisited Vernditch Chase in an effort to find the mythical Kitt’s Grave (spoiler alert – she failed). Different maps show the grave in different places so is it any wonder it is so difficult to find? Folklore says it is the grave of a young woman who killed herself and, as was the custom, was buried on the parish boundary at a junction of tracks. Others say that it is a prehistoric long barrow, and one person at least claims to have found it in the adjacent wood. Will you find it?

     Next Elaine wrote about her visit to Great Durnford and Ogbury Camp, an Iron Age univallate hill fort south west of Amesbury located above the Woodford Valley. The manor of Great Durford has existed since the 11th century and whilst in the village church Elaine believes she may have found evidence of a 16th century murder!

     Then Elaine ventured to Clarendon Palace and the forest, which she visited shortly after Storm Eunice. A hunting ground for Saxon and later Norman kings, it would once have formed part of a much larger area of forest but it is now little more than a wood.

     Next it was Paul’s turn and in February he returned to Fisherton de la Mare for the first time in nearly 30 years, where he met the current owners of a house he so very nearly bought all those years ago. From here, it was a walk across the flood plain of the Wylye River, along the road then up to the small National Nature Reserve of Wylye Down.

     During Valentine’s week Elaine decided on a walk to Lover, Bohemia and Paradise all in one day! Lover is famous for its Valentine’s Day stamps that can be bought and posted from the village for those of a romantic disposition. It transpires that Paradise was misnamed, it being a wood plastered with “Private” signs.

     Then Paul (together with his trusted walking buddy Stu) undertook what turned into an epic walk taking in West Lavington, Market Lavington and the Wessex Ridgeway. In heavy snow it felt like an arctic expedition. Plans to visit the churches in both villages were thwarted as they were both locked. Which is a shame as All Saint’s Church in West Lavington contains a stunning engraved window, the work of Simon Whistler nephew of the artist Rex Whistler. It can though be seen from the A360 below as you sit in queues of traffic trying to squeeze through the narrow bends to the south of the village.

     Finally, Paul did the relatively short George Herbert Walk in Salisbury, following in the footsteps of poet, rector, writer and musician George Herbert who, in the early 1630s, walked tw

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Alton Barnes, Alton Priors, Wansdyke and the Pewsey Vale

    Alton Barnes, Alton Priors, Wansdyke and the Pewsey Vale

    This episode is a bit of a special, as most of it was recorded outside over a year ago and it contains a special guest - David Carson MBE.

    David's family have farmed the land around Milk Hill for over 100 years, and we recorded a video with him in 2021, where he took us through much of the local history around the villages of Alton Barnes, Alton Priors and the Pewsey Vale. The video can be found on YouTube (link here: Hidden Wiltshire video)

    This podcast is the audio from that video, which it was always planned to release as a podcast special at some point !

    But we also have an important announcement to make. After 41 episodes and almost two years, the Hidden Wiltshire podcast is coming to a pause. We will still be creating content for the website at www.hiddenwiltshire.com and we have plans to do more video so if you follow the website you can keep up to date with the latest information. We may be back in the future with some podcast specials.

    Thanks for listening !

    Links:

    Glyn’s photographs can be seen on his Instagram feed @coy_cloud
    He is also very active on Twitter where his username is @Glyndle

    Paul’s photography can be found on his website at Paul Timlett Photography and on Instagram at @tragicyclist

    Steve Dixon’s sound art can be found on Soundcloud where his username is River and Rail Steve Dixon River and Rail. His photographs can be found on Instagram at @stevedixon_creative and his graphic design business website is at Steve Dixon Creative

    And finally you’ll find the Hidden Wiltshire online shop here Hidden Wiltshire Shop
    and a link to Glyn’s blog about the latest book and how to purchase a copy here Hidden Wiltshire from near and far

    • 40 min
    Aldbourne Circular Route and the Abandoned Village of Snap

    Aldbourne Circular Route and the Abandoned Village of Snap

    Back to recording indoors this month, and back to recording from different countries. Whilst Glyn remains in Wiltshire Paul is once again doing battle with French rural internet which seems to be arriving by means of a telephone cable lying in a ditch outside the village. But it’s amazing what Glyn can do with his editing software so the audio was fine.

    Bearing in mind Paul has been away for a few weeks and Glyn has been tied up with work, there was a surprising amount to report in terms of activity since last month’s podcast.

    Once again Elaine Perkins has been busily producing some terrific blogs and Facebook posts including a little history and fascinating secrets to be found in Fisherton Anger in Salisbury (Facebook post); a blog about The Village of Alderbury on the website (link below); and a blog about The Borbach Chantry also on the website (link below). Elaine seemed to spend a lot of her time trying to link two sections of a right of way interrupted by a river!

    Contributors to the Closed Facebook Group will have seen some stunning aerial shots by Hedley Thorne of Hippenscombe and Fosbury Camp, and Wansdyke. The latter was part of a collaboration with You Tubers Paul and Rebecca Whitewick who posted a fascinating video about Open Access areas. You can find a link to the video below.

    Facebook Contributor Colin Fry posted some images of Stanley Bridge and nearby Tytherton Lucas which were in the area of Paul’s blog entitled Maud Heath’s Causeway.

    Meanwhile Paul has gone all spiritual and posted a couple more blogs featuring churches on his doorstep – the two churches at Orcheston, and St Andrew’s Church, Orcheston. Links to the blogs can be found below. But it wasn’t all about churches. Paul and his walking buddy Stu undertook a long day’s walk from Shrewton to Stapleford and back to search for the end of the River Till where it joins the River Wylye. The walk was particularly long as it involved an hour or so in the pub! A link to this blog can be found below.

    To be fair to Glyn he did actually manage to get out and led the final Wiltshire Museum Guided Walk on Fyfield Down taking in the Devil’s Den and the Polissoir Stone.

    But before we moved onto this week’s main subject we talked about cats. Large black cats. Whilst reading Robert Macfarlane’s beautiful book The Old Ways – A Journey on Foot, Paul came across Macfarlane’s story about his encounter with what he was certain was a black panther on the Marlborough Downs. There have been many sightings of these big cats in Wiltshire including one by Paul outside Shrewton. So Glyn has decided to start a new thread about black panther sightings on Facebook. Meanwhile there’s a link to Robert Macfarlane’s superb book below.

    Finally we got onto the main subject of this episode of the podcast. A walk Paul and Stu did in March 2022 starting from Aldbourne taking in Liddington Castle and the abandoned village of Snap. You can follow the map and walk description in Paul’s blog, linked below. This is a walk rich in history from the Bronze Age right up to World War II. Aldbourne was the base for the US Army’s 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, or Easy Company as they came to be known, and as featured in the film series Band of Brothers. And of course the walk was accompanied by some spectacular wide reaching views of Wiltshire.

    In the discussion about the walk Paul mentioned a website containing some great historical facts about the history to be found along the way in this walk. The site in question was actually that for Aldbourne Heritage Centre and we’ve included a link below.


    Then on to the wrap up for this episode:

    Steve Dixon’s piece leading into our main subject is called “Round the Downs”.  As ever the piece in the introduction and at the end of the podcast is entitled “The Holloway”.

    Finally, don’t forget to check out the Hidden Wiltshire online shop on the website if you’d lik

    • 1 hr

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