Devils Den

Devils Den, Marlborough

Ancient Ruins • Points of Interest & Landmarks
What people are saying
An adventure to find the Devil.. that actually is quite convenient
Jan 2019
So recently I was poring over some ancient texts, I’d heard rumour of a Neolithic burial site further East than the Kennet Long Barrow, possibly older than Avebury itself, making it far older than Stonehenge. If this was true, it would be quite a sight to behold… okay I lie, I was looking through TripAdvisor and searched for “Neolithic sites, Wiltshire,” not quite ancient manuscripts but it definitely was faster. I saw a very interesting entry, one I hadn’t heard of before, and I like to think of myself as rather well explored in this area, growing up adventuring the downs, and even completing the Neolithic Marathon. Yet this posting was a new one for me. I am speaking of, “The Devil’s Den.” A site believed to be almost 4000 years old, a burial site for king of ages long past, of a people history seems to have forgotten. A people to whom the Romans would have considered much older than we considered the Romans to be. I started to google the location, although different accounts were given to me, but I was determined to find this site, and after much searching, found it to be somewhere on Fyfield Down, part of the Marlborough Downs, which made sense, this, being part of the wider Avebury World Heritage Site, which is known to be home to the greatest collection of Sarsen Stones in England. Sarsen, incidentally descends from the word Saracen, a sign of how Christians in the Middle Ages viewed these heretical sites. Interesting how they likened them to the devil, and strange foreign influences of the Far East, yet despite this, they’ve all survived through the ages, even as castles, churches and monasteries have risen and fallen, yet these simple stones, have stood the test of time. After choosing an entry point to the downs that turned out to have a farm in the way.. I mean.. it probably wasn’t a sudden occurrence of a farm in the way.. but I didn’t fancy walking across such a well looked after field, or going around through the alpacas.. they’ve enough to worry about, what with being on the wrong continent and the wrong altitude.. but that’s by the by.. new approach needed. I circled back to the road, got my car and decided to approach from the other side, literally up in racecourse country, and was amazed to find a purpose built car park, including a detailed map of the area, and for the first time, had confirmation of a location, which looked to be a 15 minute walk from where I was. I was elated, and yet also slightly disappointed, I thought I was going off the beaten track, yet now, in my mind, this might as well have had a gift shop. Yet, the solitary car gave me hope that this might get be a special find. I made my way along the bridle path, race course to my right, this was horse country after all, and open downs to the left, it was clear and crisp and it wasn’t long before I saw a small shape in the distance, which according to my map, was the Devils Den. Now I just had to circumnavigate the field and find my way down there. I came to a gate, ominous was the sign warning me of a bull, and the open gates beyond didn’t encourage that I wouldn’t share this journey with a 1 tonne behemoth, and so I kept close to the fence line, passing a shotgun shell on the ground. All rather trivial details, but I thought it added to the legend of this place. I rounded the corner, and saw a buzzard, a mighty specimen, standing sentry at the entrance to the valley, a raven would have been more fitting, either Huginn or Muninn, guards of the pagan world. And yet the buzzard was quite splendid in his own right. And then I passed a collection of stones, surrounding some trees and next to it, the pathway to the den, on the gate, a glove, fashioned into a demon of sorts, a gargoyle for the church of the devil. On this final path, stones lay scattered, and the air appeared to cool, in fact, in a crevice in one of these rocks, there was a shallow pool, within which, ice was floating. Beyond this, the entrance lay, and to my surprise the gate was strewn across the floor, this was still bull country, or more literally, devil country. And then, there it was, small, yet dominating the landscape, The Devils Den, and around me, no one. It’s such a special feeling when you find yourself in a place of ancient wonder, a site where magic could be real, where history doesn’t have much information to offer. Next time you are offered a journey into the past, I implore you to take it.

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4.5
10 reviews
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DaveWomble
Chippenham, UK255 contributions
An almost spiritual experience
Feb 2020 • Solo
This is one of those deserted places with a startling piece of ancient history. A remarkable place to visit.

The cap stone is enormous - I read somewhere that it is 17 tonnes - and somewhat extraordinary nested in a valley which is fairly remote from other places. If you want a special experience with stones, this is it.

I walked up the steep hill from Fyfield and then back down to the Den, and then walked back along the flat (shorter distance) to the A4 a little further East towards Marlborough (SU 156 688). This is the easiest route but you’ll need wellies after heavy rain because it was flooded for a short distance.

Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Toby L
Calne, UK402 contributions
An adventure to find the Devil.. that actually is quite convenient
Jan 2019 • Solo
So recently I was poring over some ancient texts, I’d heard rumour of a Neolithic burial site further East than the Kennet Long Barrow, possibly older than Avebury itself, making it far older than Stonehenge. If this was true, it would be quite a sight to behold… okay I lie, I was looking through TripAdvisor and searched for “Neolithic sites, Wiltshire,” not quite ancient manuscripts but it definitely was faster.

I saw a very interesting entry, one I hadn’t heard of before, and I like to think of myself as rather well explored in this area, growing up adventuring the downs, and even completing the Neolithic Marathon. Yet this posting was a new one for me.

I am speaking of, “The Devil’s Den.” A site believed to be almost 4000 years old, a burial site for king of ages long past, of a people history seems to have forgotten. A people to whom the Romans would have considered much older than we considered the Romans to be.

I started to google the location, although different accounts were given to me, but I was determined to find this site, and after much searching, found it to be somewhere on Fyfield Down, part of the Marlborough Downs, which made sense, this, being part of the wider Avebury World Heritage Site, which is known to be home to the greatest collection of Sarsen Stones in England. Sarsen, incidentally descends from the word Saracen, a sign of how Christians in the Middle Ages viewed these heretical sites. Interesting how they likened them to the devil, and strange foreign influences of the Far East, yet despite this, they’ve all survived through the ages, even as castles, churches and monasteries have risen and fallen, yet these simple stones, have stood the test of time.

After choosing an entry point to the downs that turned out to have a farm in the way.. I mean.. it probably wasn’t a sudden occurrence of a farm in the way.. but I didn’t fancy walking across such a well looked after field, or going around through the alpacas.. they’ve enough to worry about, what with being on the wrong continent and the wrong altitude.. but that’s by the by.. new approach needed.

I circled back to the road, got my car and decided to approach from the other side, literally up in racecourse country, and was amazed to find a purpose built car park, including a detailed map of the area, and for the first time, had confirmation of a location, which looked to be a 15 minute walk from where I was. I was elated, and yet also slightly disappointed, I thought I was going off the beaten track, yet now, in my mind, this might as well have had a gift shop. Yet, the solitary car gave me hope that this might get be a special find.

I made my way along the bridle path, race course to my right, this was horse country after all, and open downs to the left, it was clear and crisp and it wasn’t long before I saw a small shape in the distance, which according to my map, was the Devils Den. Now I just had to circumnavigate the field and find my way down there.

I came to a gate, ominous was the sign warning me of a bull, and the open gates beyond didn’t encourage that I wouldn’t share this journey with a 1 tonne behemoth, and so I kept close to the fence line, passing a shotgun shell on the ground. All rather trivial details, but I thought it added to the legend of this place.

I rounded the corner, and saw a buzzard, a mighty specimen, standing sentry at the entrance to the valley, a raven would have been more fitting, either Huginn or Muninn, guards of the pagan world. And yet the buzzard was quite splendid in his own right.

And then I passed a collection of stones, surrounding some trees and next to it, the pathway to the den, on the gate, a glove, fashioned into a demon of sorts, a gargoyle for the church of the devil.

On this final path, stones lay scattered, and the air appeared to cool, in fact, in a crevice in one of these rocks, there was a shallow pool, within which, ice was floating.

Beyond this, the entrance lay, and to my surprise the gate was strewn across the floor, this was still bull country, or more literally, devil country.

And then, there it was, small, yet dominating the landscape, The Devils Den, and around me, no one. It’s such a special feeling when you find yourself in a place of ancient wonder, a site where magic could be real, where history doesn’t have much information to offer. Next time you are offered a journey into the past, I implore you to take it.
Written February 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alan C
Salisbury, UK12 contributions
Devil’s Den
Aug 2018 • Couples
Came as part of a quest to visit every site features in Salisbury Museum’s 2017 temporary art exhibition, ’British Art: Abcient Landscapes’ which gave different artists responses to the archaeological landscape, particularly of the south. Wasn’t easy to find as it didn’t appear to signposted from the A4. Walked along the lane towards Fyfield Farm. Stopped a delivery van returning from the farm to check directions, but the driver had never heard of the Devil’s Den. However, did receive further directions from a resident at the farm, the lady ’assuring’ us that we’d be the only people there. Had to walk along the valley to the right before we spied Devil’s Den. The ’footpaths’ were overgrown indicating that not too many people visit this site. Interesting the ’capstone’ had hollows in it containing what appeared to be the residues of something having been combusted in them - as still happens at Stonehenge during the solstice's. Fyfield Farm Lane and the meadow/valley had large sarsen-lke stones scattered around - presumably a glacial scatter-field and the location from which the Stonehenge sarsens were sourced. A fascinating and atmospheric site. A bonus was collecting large succulent blackberries from the hedging alongside Fyfield Farm Lane, from which we made a delicious blackberry crumble when we returned home
Written August 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

923Dan
Swindon, UK2,692 contributions
Stunning Preserved Dolmen - Peace & Quiet in Ancient Setting
Mar 2018 • Solo
Pouring over my new walking map, i happened to come across the Devil's Den, a dolmen from pre-historic times and now all that remains of a once large burial mound.
Its a mile walk up from the village of Lockeridge (parking is an issue, so i parked next to the church in the village), starting on farm roads / bridleways that gave way to unmarked footpaths.
Whilst the dolmen is not original - being supported by concrete on one side and underneath (since it was recreated in 1921), it is simply stunning.
I spent over half an hour here and didn't see another soul.
A peaceful special place of natural beauty with a relic of pre-history from the time of Avebury being built.
If you want to get away from the crowds of Avebury / Stonehenge - then this is the perfect getaway.
Written March 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Doug L
Marlborough, UK11 contributions
Ideal for a warm sunny day when it's dry underfoot.
Nov 2017 • Couples
Difficult to get to as parking your car anywhere close is virtually impossible. The nearest car park is in some bushes just before you get to Manton stables, and a u shaped walk, but, just beyond these stones is one of the most geologically interesting places in the south of England. A classic glacial deposit, boulder field, and perhaps IMHO, the source of the monoliths of stone Henge. This is on National Trust land, but the access is hampered by stock fencing, but still worth the effort if glacial deposits are your thing.
Written January 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nathan P
Ogmore-by-Sea, UK188 contributions
Hard to find
Aug 2017 • Couples
Took ages to find this place as Apple maps didn't show correct location from the link on trip advisor. Used google maps and still got lost ! Not sure if it's me but I'm usually pretty good at directions. Couldn't find any signposts at all. We asked several locals where the place was and none of them had heard of it despite living local all of their lives ! The paths we eventually found are not well worn which is proves it's well hidden and not well known.

We did eventually find it and it was well worth the effort. As it's in the middle of nowhere and no one around it adds to the atmosphere of the place.

Well worth checking out. Not sure where you would park though but as we were mountain biking that wasn't an issue. However, we did get nettled loads !
Written August 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Claire F
36 contributions
Lovely walk
Jul 2017 • Couples
We parked in Fyfield, crossed the A4 and headed up a track. First part of the walk was a bit steep but after that fairly easy going. We followed a route in a guide book. We didn't complete the whole walk as one of the fields had a sign on the gate saying there was a bull and as we had dogs were a bit concerned! Devils Den itself was lovely and quiet. If you like visiting things like this then worth a trip! Hidden bit of history in a beautiful location.
Written July 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Glenn & Cameron Broughton
Somerset, UK78 contributions
wonderful isolated sacred site
Jul 2016 • Couples
This dolmen is well worth a visit if you're looking for 'off the beaten track' places of interest. There is no parking on the A4 by the lane leading up to it so best to go up Downs Lane just before the Marlborough town sign on the west side of Marlborough on the A4. Keep going until you see a small roadway to the left and there is immediately a designated parking area. Best to take an OS map with you first time you go although if you look into the valley from the pedestrian lane that leads from the car park you'll actually see it down below in a small green paddock area. There is detectable energy there and its a lovely peaceful place to have a picnic too.
Written October 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

SavernakeBreese
Cirencester, UK148 contributions
You'll be part of a select group to visit this special site
May 2016 • Solo
Out of the way, but on an easily walked lane the hardest part is finding close parking. However it is worth the effort. You'll have this enchanting location to yourself. You can touch and even walk through this ancient portal (if you dare). A great spot for picnic with kids, fire their imagination away from the crowds of Avebury.
Written September 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

lucyburg
Darlington, UK2 contributions
Walk to Devils Den
Jun 2015 • Family
We parked at the Fyfield down car park which is situated 1 mile from the A4 on the White Horse trail. Devils Den can be seen on the left as you follow the Trail which is, at this part, a road for the racehorse stables. Only one car passed us as we walked along for around a mile, and was obviously used to walkers, slowing down and passing carefully. Devils Den is clearly marked on the OS map, but even if you don't have a map the path downhill to it is clear. On leaving the road there is a grassy path downhill through two fields. Dog walkers note that these fields are used for grazing, and are clearly marked as such. Devils den sit in its own fenced field which, as a sign tells you, has been left to grass and flowers to make it a very pleasant place to stop off for a picnic. There is a huge amount of space around the ancient structure, but the stones themselves are not fenced off. We had read a lot of information about the stones before our visit, courtesy of Julian Cope, and thoroughly enjoyed a relaxing hour taking in the views. We carried on along the trail after a while and were pleased to see that the topmost stone of Devils den is visible for quite a while peeping over the top of the surrounding fields. We took our children (ages from 7 to 14) who are fairly hardy walkers but I think it would be a nice gentle walk for others with children. It's wonderful that these ancient monuments are getting the respect that they deserve. I hope more people visit and pass on the knowledge of our islands history.
Written June 16, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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