South Camp

South Camp photographed from the Downs during ploughing in 2013. The chalky lines of the camp roads are plain to see.

The camp we refer to as ‘South Camp’ is to the south of the A30, west of Manor Farm opposite Fricker’s Barn. The pattern of camp roads in South Camp has remained visible on various air photographs since the First World War. They were also very visible when the field was ploughed for the first time in 20 years in 2013. Although we don’t have a proper plan of South Camp, the visible pattern of camp roads matches very closely with the RFA camps in Fovant opposite West Farm. The match is so close that we can overlay one on the other, so we are quite confident that South Camp had a similar layout to the Fovant RFA camp.

The central track of the camp was marked on maps after the First World War, together with some buildings in the middle of the field. There is still some kind of concrete base in the middle field corresponding with these post-war buildings.

Wessex Archaeology carried out a geophysical survey of South Camp in 2015. It indicated a lot of features, some of which coincide with the camp roads.

Camp plan from the RFA camp opposite West Farm in Fovant, courtesy of Fovant History Interest Group. We think that South Camp at Sutton Mandeville had a very similar layout

We excavated four small trenches in South Camp as part of our ‘Dig for History’ community archaeology day with Chalke Valley History Festival in 2016. Two trenches examined the concrete pad in the middle of the field, while the other two were directed at the camp roads and geophysical anomalies. Although we picked up one road it seemed much narrower than we expected; and one of the trenches indicated that the whole area was underlain by field boundary ditches dating back to Roman times!











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