Circular crop mark?

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Easylife
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Circular crop mark?

Post by Easylife » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:16 pm

I noticed this circular crop mark straddling a hedge boundary between fields and wondered what it most likely was. It is about 25 metres diameter and appears to have an inner ring of about 20 metres although only the left half is visible in image. There appears to be a path or track to it from the south west. It is located towards the top of a ridge and furrow ploughed hill with a brook less than 200 metres away. It does not show at all on Lidar. Any ideas?

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Dave The Slave » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:46 pm

Can clearly see the right hand side of circle in top photo, although it does not stand out as prominently. The right hand side also has an inner circle of approx half diameter showing. Second photo has a possible entrance on the right hand side, showing at between 2 & 3 o`clock
Might be worth checking on a Geo ref map or old map to see how long that field boundary has been there. Have also had parch marks show up that aren`t on Lidar.
If field boundary is old, could be interesting.
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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Easylife » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:37 pm

Boundary is shown on 1883 map.

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by littleboot » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:16 pm

Interesting....especially given the size and the fact a boundary goes through it. So that rules out those feeding cages for cows being in position there.

As Dave says...check other maps. Also other satellite images from google history and other mapping sites ( Bing Maps) because they are taken at other times of year with different ground conditions so will eliminate random markings that are purely temporary. If it shows up on more than one then you are probably onto something.
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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Easylife » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:16 pm

Further GE historic maps revealed two more paths leading to this, one leads to what look like possibly 6 or so clustered smaller circular crop marks. It is on a part of my new permission where I have not been yet, guess where my first search will be next time? :D

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by oldartefact » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:58 pm

The key to understanding what is happening here is in the second pic ... there is an as yet unexplained mark leading from left to the edge of the "circle" ... understand that and you will be well on your way to explaining the topology.

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by littleboot » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:42 pm

Another possible explanation is that it is a filled-in Dew Pond. Depends on the location, but I remember there were quite a lot of them in the Peak District and other areas of limestone or chalk.
Originally they were lined with clay (and then in more recent times some of them were lined with concrete) and obviously used for watering animals. Quite a few were dissected by boundary fences when the open fields were enclosed in the 18th century. This being so that both fields had access to the water.
The path could well be an old path worn by stock as they went to drink.
Dew ponds are fascinating and mysterious and many of them are thought to have ancient origins.
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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Koala » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:27 pm

I must have funny eyes to everybody else

I see. I both photos left hand side. A curved shape like the left hand side of a 6


Right hand side. Top photo. Top right I see a mass of lines (looks interesting) some straight some curved. There does appear as if a small section might be on the same curve but if you cover it with your thumb I can't see anything either side.


Right hand side. Second photo. To the right I see the corner of a square.


The brain is very good at filling in the gaps with is own details.


Whatever crop marks are crop marks. Get permission and get swinging.


Good luck and happy hunting.

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Steve_T » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:41 pm

Could it be a"fairy ring" I have seen these in the past on grassland? It may explain the circle if it's dead or well pronounced grass. Just something to consider perhaps, hope it does turn out to be something, eye on the ground on site will tell more.

Going by the shadow of the hedge I don't think it's depicting a hump or hollow in the ground, looks level to me, a lidar image may help

Have a look at this link to the Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy_ring

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Easylife » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:10 pm

Visited site today, the ring is actually a darker green grass so maybe getting more water or nutrients than the rest. Fairy circle or filled in ring ditch maybe? The pasture is too dry to detect responsibly at present until we have more rain so as not to kill the grass. Just half of the large circle up to the hedgerow shown in these pics, should be self evident. All thoughts welcome.

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Dave The Slave » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:29 pm

Looks clearer in real life. To me looks like a ditch because land inside ring appears to be higher suddenly rather than gradually. Did you think the same when you were there ?
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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Easylife » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:41 pm

Dave The Slave wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:29 pm
Looks clearer in real life. To me looks like a ditch because land inside ring appears to be higher suddenly rather than gradually. Did you think the same when you were there ?
It seemed to be about the same level but it was all ridge and furrow ploughed long ago so there is some unevenness. There is about a 2 foot drop on the outer edge of the circle at the tree line in the last pic as it goes down the hill. There did appear to be a gap about where that south west path joins it (2nd original pic), but that path was not visible today, so could be coincidental.

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Koala » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:02 pm

Strange looks like I should show up on Lidar

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by oldartefact » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:04 pm

Easylife wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:41 pm
Dave The Slave wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:29 pm
Looks clearer in real life. To me looks like a ditch because land inside ring appears to be higher suddenly rather than gradually. Did you think the same when you were there ?
It seemed to be about the same level but it was all ridge and furrow ploughed long ago so there is some unevenness. There is about a 2 foot drop on the outer edge of the circle at the tree line in the last pic as it goes down the hill. There did appear to be a gap about where that south west path joins it (2nd original pic), but that path was not visible today, so could be coincidental.
Did you manage to figure out what the path leading up to the edge of the circle was all about? and did you get to ask the farmer about it?

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Easylife » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:52 pm

Koala wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:02 pm
Strange looks like I should show up on Lidar
Only ridge & furrows show clearly on Lidar.

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Easylife » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:40 pm

oldartefact wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:04 pm
Did you manage to figure out what the path leading up to the edge of the circle was all about? and did you get to ask the farmer about it?
I think that the whole picture is slowly becoming clearer. The diagonal lines appear to align with what I assume is an older field system to the south, parallel to the main road which are at 45 degrees to the northern fields, so those diagonals might be older field boundaries. The northern fields orientations now slope down to a main brook and were ridge and furrow ploughed which continues through present northern field boundaries. Hope that makes sense. I have not met the farmer yet, only spoken initially on the phone. I will see what history of the land he has soon.
These overlays are made from aerial images from different years. The electrical powerlines NW to SE are not a factor.

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Large circle outer 25 metres, inner 20 metres diameter. An oddly oriented rectangle.
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About 150 metres along the south line at the apex of the flat topped hill. Note how the boundary has changed orientation.
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Circles approx 5 metres diameter, there are a few more visible in pic.
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May turn out to be just fairy circles but they do seem to be connected directly.
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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Easylife » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:44 pm

I did wonder if it was a now a ploughed out round barrow which was once used as the previous field boundary junction.
Last edited by Easylife on Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by oldartefact » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:51 pm

Just noticed that in the top pic there is a shadow visible on the trees where the circle bisects the hedge ...??? that is weird...

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Easylife » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:50 am

oldartefact wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:51 pm
Just noticed that in the top pic there is a shadow visible on the trees where the circle bisects the hedge ...??? that is weird...
The circle shadow alignment crossing the hedge does seem strange. On site visit today I should have really paid more attention to it. I did notice a couple of small gaps in the otherwise consistent hawthorn hedgerow which may quite possibly have aligned with "shadows". If so then then the hedge chose not to grow there which is quite the opposite of expected, and agreed that would be really weird. The pasture is really too dry to dig at present, which was the agreement with farmer only when suitable, it is located exactly half way up the hill with a layer of seemingly chalky sub soil. This phenomenon is quite intriguing, may take dog for walk there for further exploration in the mean time. I find it all quite interesting, it is surprising what starts out as a simple hobby then escalates with finds research into a learning curve in history, geography as well as lots of puzzle solving.
Last edited by Easylife on Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Circular crop mark?

Post by Oxgirl36 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:32 am

Easylife wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:44 pm
I did wonder if it was a now a ploughed out round barrow which was once used as the previous field boundary junction.
That is what I would have said too. Saw a similar one once on Time Team that was a Bronze Age barrow that had appeared to have remained an important place through Roman times and beyond. However, like others, I would expect it to show up on Lidar. Is it on high ground?
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