4.3 miles From Royal Wootton Bassett – Sunday 25th March – 100 Acres of Grazed Pasture

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Smiths Farm, Bushton, Swindon SN4 7PX

This event will be held near the hamlet of Bushton in Swindon which is only 4.3 miles from Royal Wootton Bassett. We will have 100 acres of grazed pasture available for this visit.

Royal Wootton Bassett

/ˈrɔɪəl ˈwʊtən ˈbæsɪt/, formerly Wootton Bassett, is a small market town and civil parish in Wiltshire, England, with a population of 11,043 in 2001, increasing to 11,385 in 2011. Situated in the north of the county, it lies 6 miles (10 km) to the west of the major town of Swindon and 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Calne.

From 1447 until 1832 Wootton Bassett was a parliamentary borough which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons. In 1832 it was deemed a rotten borough and abolished by the Great Reform Act.

The town was granted royal patronage in March 2011 by Elizabeth II in recognition of its role in the early-21st-century military funeral repatriations, which passed through the town. This honour was officially conferred in a ceremony on 16 October 2011 – the first royal patronage to be conferred upon a town (as distinguished from a borough or county) since 1909

Wodeton settlement

AD 681 is usually taken as the starting point for recorded history of Wootton Bassett, then known as Wodeton, it being referred to in that year in a Malmesbury Abbey charter granting land to the Abbot.

Archaeological discoveries in the area tend to confirm the tradition that the original “Wodeton” (Settlement in the wood – i.e. in Bradon Forest) was near the present Dunnington Road. Allegedly under continuous occupation throughout Celtic and Romano-British periods, the land was granted in 681 AD to Malmesbury Abbey. Further grants of land nearby appear in the records from time to time, but of Wodeton itself we hear no more until it was sacked by the marauding Danes in 1015, whereupon the survivors decided to move uphill to the site of the present High Street.

Domesday Book

Wootton Bassett is mentioned in the Domesday Book where it was noted that Miles Crispin held the rights and these included “land for 12 ploughs…a mill…and 24 acres (9.7 ha) of meadow…33 acres of pasture and woodland which is two leagues by a league”. It was said to be worth nine pounds.


Wiltshire is notable for its pre-Roman archaeology. The Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age people that occupied southern Britain built settlements on the hills and downland that cover Wiltshire. Stonehenge and Avebury are perhaps the most famous Neolithic sites in the UK.

In the 6th and 7th centuries Wiltshire was at the western edge of Saxon Britain, as Cranborne Chase and the Somerset Levels prevented the advance to the west. The Battle of Bedwyn was fought in 675 between Escuin, a West Saxon nobleman who had seized the throne of Queen Saxburga, and King Wulfhere of Mercia. In 878 the Danes invaded the county. Following the Norman Conquest, large areas of the country came into the possession of the crown and the church.

At the time of the Domesday Survey the industry of Wiltshire was largely agricultural; 390 mills are mentioned, and vineyards at Tollard and Lacock. In the succeeding centuries sheep-farming was vigorously pursued, and the Cistercian monastery of Stanleyexported wool to the Florentine and Flemish markets in the 13th and 14th centuries.

In the 17th century English Civil War Wiltshire was largely Parliamentarian. The Battle of Roundway Down, a Royalist victory, was fought near Devizes.

In 1794 it was decided at a meeting at the Bear Inn in Devizes to raise a body of ten independent troops of Yeomanry for the county of Wiltshire, which formed the basis for what would become the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, who served with distinction both at home and abroad, during the Boer War, World War I and World War II. The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry currently lives on as Y (RWY) Squadron, based in Swindon, and B (RWY) Squadron, based in Salisbury, of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.

Around 1800 the Kennet and Avon Canal was built through Wiltshire, providing a route for transporting cargoes from Bristol to London until the development of the Great Western Railway.

Information on the 261 civil parishes of Wiltshire is available on Wiltshire Council’s Wiltshire Community History website which has maps, demographic data, historic and modern pictures and short histories.

The local nickname for Wiltshire natives is “Moonrakers”. This originated from a story of smugglers who managed to foil the local Excise men by hiding their alcohol, possibly French brandy in barrels or kegs, in a village pond. When confronted by the excise men they raked the surface to conceal the submerged contraband with ripples, and claimed that they were trying to rake in a large round cheese visible in the pond, really a reflection of the full moon. The officials took them for simple yokels or mad and left them alone, allowing them to continue with their illegal activities. Many villages claim the tale for their own village pond, but the story is most commonly linked with The Crammer in Devizes.



Please note: We expect all finds to be shown for photographing, all items considered treasure for the finder to provide identification and a contact number. Whilst it is not our responsibility to report items of treasure found on our digs, we will advise the finder to do so and expect confirmation it has been done. And finds of this nature not reported will result in the finders details being passed to the relevant authority.

The event will start at 9am after a short briefing so please arrive between 8am and 8.45am. Digging finishes at 4.30pm. Parking will be on hard standing.

There will be no catering at this event so please bring food and refreshments with you.

If you can no longer attend after registering for the event please UN REGISTER, failure to do so can result in you being blocked from all future LGD events.

Non paid members £20
Paid members with a membership card £15
Under 16s free (no need to register)


Bushton Sunday 25th March - Drivers Only


Vehicle Drivers Only

Registration opens at 15-03-2018 17:47

Registration closes at 24-03-2018 20:00

Max Participants: 100

Registration is currently closed.

Bushton Sunday 25th March - Passengers Only


Registration opens at 15-03-2018 17:48

Registration closes at 24-03-2018 20:00

Max Participants: 50

Registration is currently closed.


  1. Profile photo of Suffolk Hunter

    Suffolk Hunter


    Hi Joe, After the weather ruined the Colemere dig his weekend, I’ll pick up my membership at this dig. Cheers Ian

  2. Profile photo of nicholas dykes

    nicholas dykes


    hi guys can you put plus 1 for me as the wife wants to attended she will not be detecting cheers nick.

  3. Profile photo of Martin



    Hi I have my name down to go on list but wondered if I could arrive little late. Daughter I have to drop at work at 930 at Chippenham so get to you at say 945. Thanks

  4. Profile photo of Daryl



    Hi, First event for me :)

    Do we receive an e-mail this week with the specifics of location? e.g a postcode for where we meet?


  5. Profile photo of Paul cox

    Paul cox


    Tried to unregister but it said error so can you unregister me please having trouble with transport

  6. Profile photo of Stu



    hi Joe can you unregister me please for tomorrows dig sorry Joe something has came up

  7. Profile photo of Derek Spencer

    Derek Spencer


    Hi Jo can you please unregister my self Despencer and Wright as transport not available
    Have tried to unregister closed

    Thanks Derek

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