Fyfield Down

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Fyfield Down
Sarsen stones, Fyfield Down - geograph.org.uk - 412186.jpg
Sarsen stones on Fyfield Down
Fyfield Down is located in Wiltshire
Fyfield Down
Fyfield Down
Fyfield Down shown within Wiltshire
OS grid reference SU136709
Coordinates 51°26′13″N 1°48′21″W / 51.43694°N 1.80574°W / 51.43694; -1.80574Coordinates: 51°26′13″N 1°48′21″W / 51.43694°N 1.80574°W / 51.43694; -1.80574
List of places

Fyfield Down (grid reference SU136709) is part of the Marlborough Downs, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of the village of Fyfield, Wiltshire. The down is a 325.3 hectare biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest, notified in 1951. The down has the best assemblage of sarsen stones in England, known as the Grey Wethers.

The site is to be distinguished from another Fyfield Down also in Wiltshire, east of Pewsey and on the edge of Salisbury Plain, near another place called Fyfield. The two places are only about 9 miles (14 km) apart.

The Grey Wethers[edit]

The down has the best assemblage of sarsen stones in England. The stones are known here as the Grey Wethers, for their likeness to sheep when seen from a distance. They were noted by Col. Richard Symonds in his diary for 1644: "They call that place the Grey-wethers, because a far off they looke like a flock of sheepe."[1] They support a nationally important lichen flora. An alternative name for this natural rock feature is Mother's Jam.[2]

The polisher[edit]

On the west side of the down (grid reference SU12837150) is a recumbent sarsen stone with grooved markings.[3] It is thought to be a prehistoric grinding bench for shaping, whetting, and polishing stone axe-heads, and is similar to other Neolithic and Bronze Age examples in France.[3]

The Devil's Den[edit]

To the east is a prehistoric dolmen known as The Devil's Den (grid reference SU151697). It is the remains of a neolithic passage grave which was reconstructed in 1921.[4]


  1. ^ E. Herbert Stone, Stones of Stonehenge, 2003:50]).
  2. ^ The Mother's Jam, www.themodernantiquarian.com, retrieved 21 May 2013
  3. ^ a b MONUMENT NO. 221769, Pastscape, retrieved 21 May 2013
  4. ^ "Devils Den - Burial Chamber (Dolmen) in England". Retrieved 11 November 2012. 


External links[edit]