Two chalk military badges 380m and 550m west of Sheep Well


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020134

Date first listed: 01-Jun-2001


Ordnance survey map of Two chalk military badges 380m and 550m west of Sheep Well
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Sutton Mandeville

National Grid Reference: ST 98351 27063, ST 98530 26978


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Constructed by either stripping the turf to expose the bedrock beneath, or by cutting bedding trenches and packing them with chalk rubble, hill figures are an extremely rare phenomenon nationally with only 40 or so identified, most of which are to be found on the chalk downs of southern England. Archaeological opinion is divided as to the date of the earliest examples, some of which may have their origins in the late prehistoric or Romano-British period. However, most appear to belong to the post-medieval period, of which those from the 20th century are by far the most numerous with 26 examples recorded nationally. With the exception of one figure cut as an advertisement, the remainder of 20th century hill figures appear to have been cut for commemorative purposes, with a significant proportion dating to World War I and intended to record the presence of military units in specific localities. The 19 badges and motifs either visible today as surface features or surviving as buried deposits on Fovant, Compton and Sutton Downs represent by far the largest and most complete group of hill figures in England. They are prominent features in the landscape and along with the military graves in nearby churchyards are a visible record of the importance of the area during World War I. Their significance is further enhanced by their association with a number of regiments or units which were either subsequently disbanded, or whose members left Fovant to fight in some of the most bloody battles of World War I.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, consists of two chalk military badges cut into the northern slopes of Sutton Down overlooking the Shaftesbury to Salisbury road and the village of Sutton Mandeville. The badges were cut by troops stationed in and around Fovant during World War I and were constructed by excavating a series of shallow bedding trenches into which clean chalk rubble was inserted and compressed into place. The first badge to have been cut was that of the 7th (City of London) Battalion, the London Regiment. Known colloquially as the `Shiny Seventh' because of their distinctive cap badge, a white metal `7' on a brass grenade, the battalion underwent training in the locality between January and May 1916. The second badge, 200m to the WNW is that of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, elements of which were stationed around Fovant from March 1917. A further series of badges and motifs on Fovant and Compton Downs are the subject of separate schedulings. All fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 33964

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Fovant Badges Society, (1984)
Gaylor, J, Military Badge Collecting, (1995), 73

End of official listing