Letters in the forest
Our Ordnance Survey vertical aerial photography collections comprises 9 inch x 9 inch prints, and 20 inch x 20 inch enlargements. They reveal an amazing level of detail, and show features in the landscape that are not visible at ground level. In addition to archaeological and architectural sites, there may be topographical reasons for an unusual shape, as seen from above.
However, during a recent trawl through the collection, an obvious man-made shape, deep in the Brechfa Forest was spotted.
The photograph was taken by the Ordnance Survey during a east-west flight at 8,100 feet on 28 April 1976. At OS NGR SN559315 within the regimented rows of trees, there are clearings making up the shape of four letters CRVE. We estimate that each letter is about 55 metres in length. A great deal of effort was used to create this feature over forty years ago, yet its origins and purpose are shrouded in mystery.
By Medwyn Parry