Slimbridge Dowsing


Dowsing Kingshill House

Saturday 22nd April was the first chance Slimbridge Dowsing Group has had to investigate Kingshill House, our new ‘home’. The morning was dry and mainly sunny with a cool breeze: good conditions for a morning’s archaeological dowsing.

The session was lead by Barry Goldring and Barbara Davis, assisted by Peter Gibson. After a short briefing, we split into groups, with Barbara leading the beginners and Barry and Peter leading the more experienced dowsers.

We spent a fascinating hour and the experienced group’s dowsing indicated a Roman garrison building to one side of Kingshill House, with a Roman hospital, and what appeared to be a temple, on the other side. At the front of the building our rods indicated a Roman store-house, a kitchen and a two-storey dwelling, while indications of a meeting house disappeared under the boundary hedge.

The beginners group started off with indications of a circular feature which, through concentrated questioning, dowsed as a large animal pen. They later found a smaller pen as well.


One delighted lady said Barbara had given her confidence in her dowsing ‘at long last!’ and they went on to find the hospital building already discovered by the experienced group. They also found another Roman building behind Kingshill House that we did not have time to record.

All the Roman finds were post AD 200, and it was most satisfying that the two groups found the garrison and located the hospital independently, thus confirming each others’ findings.

One of our more experienced members, Ros, was dowsing further back in time, and found a Neolithic processional way, possibly leading to an ancient mound where four high-status bodies had been buried, one male and three females.

Afterwards we went back indoors and plotted the main results on a site plan. There is a lot more to find, so we were pleased when the beginners asked, ‘When can we do it again?’