Dowsing Archaeological Features;
An empirical study at Cressing Temple, Witham, Essex.
17. Aerial photographic record.
22. Aerial photograph of Dovehouse Field taken by Barry Foster in the 1980's. Visible are the 'ice polygons' created by the glacial retreat. These mask the archaeological crop marks which are often invisible. (Barry Foster).
Aerial photography of the parish was undertaken between 1978 and 1982 by Barry Foster of the BVAS. The results at the Temple itself (Figure. 22) were considered disappointing, as the abundance of underground springs and periglacial features masked other, archaeological, outlines and the photographs were unfortunately dismissed as giving no archaeological data.
23. Computer enhanced photograph of the north-west corner of Dovehouse Field. This was scanned into Adobe Photoshop 5.0.1 by the author before being filtered to reveal the archaeological crop marks highlighted in red. These were also found by Colin Peal and the subsequent FAU remote sensing survey. Excavations open now reveal an Iron Age and Romano-british ditches.
However closer analysis shows a large sub-rectangular feature in the North-east corner of Dovehouse Field (Figure. 23) flanked by two linear features. These features were also identified by Colin Peal and later by a remote sensing survey carried out by the FAU in 1998. Excavations open as this report is being compiled reveal an Iron Age enclosure and a Romanic field ditch. Several seasons of aerial photographic recording by Essex County Council have seen the flight corridor pass over Cressing Temple but other than reinforce the known features on the monument very little has been discovered to impact on the furtherance of knowledge.
Barry Hillman-Crouch. MSt PA, Dip FA, BSc, HND. Written 1999 Published on the web June 2005.