Weird Wiltshire

Episode 45,   Feb 25, 05:00 AM

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 Specific Links: 

Paul Whitewick’s YouTube channel can be found here Paul Whitewick 

The Harnham Water Meadows Trust website can be found here Harnham Water Meadows Trust 

Our interview with Tim Daw can be heard here All Cannings Long Barrow - An Interview with Tim Daw 

Glyn’s blog about Rybury Camp can be found here Rybury Camp

Elaine’s blog, Temple Bottom and the Knights Templar can be found here Temple Bottom and the Last Templar 

You can read Paul’s blog about his most recent walk in the countryside around Tisbury here Tisbury and its Three Castles 

You can find Emma Heard’s Weird Wiltshire website here Weird Wiltshire. She is also on Twitter (or whatever it is called these days) where she is known as @WeirdWiltsBlog and Bluesky (whatever that is!) at Emma Heard Bluesky 

Other Links: 

Glyn’s photographs can be seen on this website and 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