Drought reveals ghost gardens, old cemeteries, lost cities on the British Isles

Cropmarks of a large prehistoric housing in Wales’ Vale of Glamorgan, the weak position of a possible Roman villa within (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

The heat wave in the British Isles has shown that a host with a long hidden historical sites that suddenly become visible by the arid earth.

In Wales, for example, a number of archaeological sites have suddenly appeared in the fields of ripening crops and rain-starved grasslands. Seen from the air, prehistoric enclosures, Roman buildings and old cemeteries have become visible throughout the country.

“This is an exceptional drought, as Wales have not seen for 40 years,” Dr. Toby Director, senior antenna researcher of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales told Fox News by e-mail. “In a normal summer on the hunt for cropmarks of a light aircraft, different regions of Wales show more brands than others. In 2018, the whole country from north to south is the show of incredible new archaeological sites.”


Experts, however, have to work quickly. “The urgent work is the now: the taking of air photos for the rain washes away the drought,” Driver explained. “The most important discoveries are then disseminated quickly to experts in Wales for their opinion, while the new photographs are carefully organized and permanently archived.”

Parchmarks of the Roman buildings to see in Caerhun Roman fort in Wales’ Conwy Valley (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

The uk is sweltering in the longest heat wave in 42 years. While the temperature dropped earlier this week, the united kingdom is expected to experience more you warm.

The eerie outlines of long-vanished buildings and monuments are to be seen in the British Isles. In Lancashire, in the North of England, for example, a “spirit garden” is published on the site of Gawthorpe Hall, which dates back to the 17th century.

As a result of the drought, and the different types of soil drying at different rates, the layout of an Italian garden was created on the front of the Hall, which has been rebranded as the ‘Downton of the North.’


The garden is designed in the 1850s, was removed in 1946, according to Lancashire County Council. “The recent warm weather has certainly unveiled a historical gem,” said Lancashire County Councillor Peter Buckley, in a statement.

☀️Great spirit garden will be unveiled on #Gawthorpe Hall . Visit before it rains! @lancspublic @NTGawthorpe @sircharlesbarry @LMuseums

— Lancashire County Council (@LancashireCC) July 11, 2018

Other sites visible in England have a “phantom mansion” in Nottinghamshire, and the outline of a World War II airfield in Hampshire, says the BBC.

In Ireland, aerial footage taken by a drone showed the remains of a previously unknown ‘henge’ or enclosure, Brú Na Bóinne, a World Heritage site in County Meath.

Minister @josephamadigan welcomes the recent archaeology finds at Newgrange, near the Great Passage Tomb, and thanks to @mythicalireland for the fantastic discovery to add to the magical Brú na Bóinne archaeological landscape. The @NationalMons is investigating further.

— DCHG / RCOG (@DeptAHG) July 11, 2018

The find was described as “simply unrivaled” by the Irish Government Minister Josepha Madigan, the Irish Times. In another project at the Brú Na Bóinne, archaeologists recently discovered an incredible 5,500-year-old tomb.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular