News & Projects

GPR images of Aldbourne hut bases

March 2024


We recently attended the Wiltshire Archaeology Conference at Devizes, Kerry Donaldson presented the results of our surveying near Highworth where we located 11 previously unknown Highworth Circles forming a group of 20, approximately 60 circles have been discovered so far. They range from 50m - 100m in diameter and have an internal ditch with an external bank. They appear to be unique in the country, so far no parallels have been discovered, only limited excavation has been carried out but it seems likely that they date to the 13th or 14th centuries. Although their exact purpose is unknown, it would seem likely that they are related to holding animals and it's possible they were related to droving or sale of stock but we just don't know. Further info in Wiltshire Archaeology Conference (

Preliminary survey work was undertaken at Aldbourne in March ahead of excavations on the Band of Brothers site. Our initial magnetometry on the site several years ago produced surprisingly good results revealing the location of most of the former Nissen huts built and initially used by British forces but which later became a base for the American Band of Brothers or Easy Company. The western part of the magnetic survey was heavily disturbed by modern steel objects and this part of the site has become the focus of attention for this year's excavations so we decided to try ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey, the results of which are visible above (time slice representing around 0.5m depth). We now have much more precise information on the location of the huts which will assist in targeting the excavations. Furth information at Magnetometry locates 'Band of Brothers' huts (

Finally, for anyone interested in early wireless sites, which are an ongoing research theme for us, we have a small number of signed copies of Larry Bennett's "Portishead Radio" for £10 +p&p and "The Marconi Beam Wireless Stations of Somerset" for £14 +p&p, contact us on See Devizes Wireless Station (     Wroughton Wireless Receiving Station (



Cheers, Dave Sabin

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With high temperatures becoming more frequent in British summers, Archaeological Surveys Ltd consider the risks of overheating and heat exhaustion when carrying out geophysical survey.
Posted on 11 August 2020
This short article takes a look at the current state of standards and guidance for archaeological geophysics in England with particular regard to commercial practice.
Posted on 08 July 2020
Francis George Sabin 1939 - 2019
Francis George Sabin passed away in September 2019 after several years of struggling with a number of degenerative illnesses. Francis provided valuable support to Archaeological Surveys Ltd after a long career in engineering.
Posted on 04 November 2019
Malmesbury Abbey Ground Penetrating Radar Survey
Archaeological Surveys Ltd was commissioned by the Malmesbury History Society to undertake a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of accessible areas around the abbey and adjacent areas. Variable results were obtained but include anomalies relating to the northern cloister, the crossing, presbytery and transepts. Fragments of the abbey complex were also located by GPR surveying within Abbey House Gardens to the east and behind The Old Bell Hotel to the north west. The GPR survey also located fragments of St Paul's church to the south of the abbey. No significant features were identified within the churchyard to the south of the abbey, although the GPR profiles indicate the presence of a very large number of graves probably confirming the area had been used for burial by the town from the medieval up until the Victorian period. The GPR results within the abbey were poor probably as a result of the floor and shallow subsurface make-up; despite the presence of numerous memorial ledgers within the floor, there was very little evidence for graves below it, and although 19th and 20th century renovations may have removed them, it is possible that high levels of GPR absorption have restricted penetration.
Posted on 19 July 2019
Magnetometry locates 'Band of Brothers' huts
Magnetometry carried out by Archaeological Surveys Ltd at Aldbourne, Wiltshire, has successfully located anomalies relating to Nissen huts used by Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division of the US army preparing for D-Day. Subsequent excavation, as part of Operation Nightingale, revealed concrete pads forming the foundations of one of the huts along with finds dating to the use and occupation of the site.
Posted on 12 June 2019
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