What has caused these mysterious crop circles?
PUBLISHED: 07:20 28 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:27 28 July 2020
Mysterious circular outlines have emerged in a Norfolk wheat field – leaving the landowner baffled over their potentially-ancient origins.
The large, near-perfect circles have been seen for the first time this summer at a farm near Kettlestone, east of Fakenham.
Landowner Martin Hattrell said he believed the unprecedented weather conditions of recent months, with one of the driest springs on record following an exceptionally wet winter, may have allowed buried features to reveal their shape in the crop growing above them. He said the plants forming the main circle seem healthier than those around them, causing the distinct change in colour which is visible from the air.
His first thought was that the outlines may be from a moat or a defensive ditch from an ancient building – but he now hopes to involve archaeological specialists to find out more.
“It is all a bit of a mystery,” said Mr Hattrell.
“It looks to me like there must have been some sort of building there that has affected the quality of the ground. It is almost a perfect circle, so it is hard to imagine that what was there before was not man-made.
“That particular field is called Monument Field, and there are a couple of burial mounds on it, so it is quite likely there was a settlement here.
“I wondered if it was a moat, but it is an odd place to put a moat. It is on a hill, not low-lying.
“Next to the main circle there appears to be another circle, and there is also a line that looks like some sort of track, but one simply does not know. We have not owned the farm that long, so we don’t have any [archaeological] records.
“We are going to try and find out more about it. I am not an archaeologist and this is not a subject I know anything about, but it is fascinating to think what might be there.
“The whole area was covered in stuff in Roman times, so I imagine it might be a couple of thousand years old, but I have absolutely no idea.”
Mr Hattrell said the circles cannot be seen from head height, but were spotted from the tractor cab by his farm contractor, and then photographed from the air using a drone piloted by fellow farm owner David Lyles.
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