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Circles under churches
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nigelswift
7400 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 18, 2005, 07:07
"I would have thought that the two places you would put them for 'ritual' reasons would be at the entrance and behind or under the altar (i.e. round the back)."

Fair enough, and Littlestone's posting seems to imply that might well be the pattern.
FourWinds
FourWinds
10943 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 18, 2005, 07:14
Only my thoughts of course. However, I come across dirty great boulders in the middle of north and south walls in early churches, so I ain't got a clue why they could be there other than 'they were there so we used them'. Perhaps I should start taking more notice of these.
goffik
goffik
3868 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 18, 2005, 07:26
Would a "possible long barrow under a church" fit in this thread?

A friend of mine found a lovely little church in the New Forest that sits atop the big end of a wedge-shaped mound... It seems to just lurch out of the ground in otherwise fairly flat environs. To all intents and purposes it FEELS like a long barrow, and it don't half LOOK like one, but can I find any information about it? Can I 'eck!

The church is in Bramshaw and is dedicated to St Peter. It's full of yews (natch) and I was half expecting to find a well in the grounds! The map ref, according to one website that mentions the church, is SU264166, for anyone interested (and, no - it's NOT marked as a barrow on the map)

I have pics but haven't got around to posting them anywhere yet...

G x
nigelswift
7400 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 18, 2005, 07:47
"I have seen puddingstones built into the corner foundations of churches in Essex, Herts and Bucks."

As you can imagine, if those were placed five feet either side of the corner, the corner would definitely settle relative to them. So ritual or not their placement at the corners has a very strong practical reason.
PeterH
PeterH
1180 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 18, 2005, 07:48
Yes. I feel certain that there is much to discover about the location of ancient sites by looking at where early churches are located. Note also any local stones like sarsens and just where they are. Excavation is not that common in churches and churchyards, but there may be other clues. In no way am I into ley lines, but there are some truly astonishing alinements of early churches. In SE Essex there are 53 churches that line up with others in 3, 4 or 5 point sequences.. Coincidence? Wishful thinking and ignoring those that don't? Relics from Roman road network? We do know that a papal edict declared that pagan temples (Saxon) should be consecrated and reused for Christian worship. So perhaps puddingstones and sarsens survive in situe from much earlier buildings. We might get some kind of answer if we make a national survey.
PeterH
PeterH
1180 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 18, 2005, 07:52
I don't know Bramshaw, but have long had a hunch that there is a long abrrow under Alphamstone - or a circle. There is certainly something very odd about the sheer number and placement of sarsens there and the mound upon which the church sits.
ocifant
ocifant
1760 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 18, 2005, 08:15
How about a church on a possible hillfort?

The church at Edlesborough in Bucks is on a high promontory. It first came to my notice whilst leafing through an old book of parish churches - a faded b/w photo showed a church on top of an embanked hilltop.

My only visit there so far was disappointing - it was pouring with rain, and the hillside is now covered with mature trees, somewhat spoiling to view of the promontory. One to check out in winter when the trees are bare I suspect.
nigelswift
7400 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 18, 2005, 08:23
there may be other clues
eg yews (but let's not cause a huge diversion...)

there are some truly astonishing alinements of early churches ....... Relics from Roman road network?

or earlier. Early routes might not have been dead straight, but they'd have broadly aspired to be over their total length, so over an extended distance settlement alignments may well be apparent.
juamei
juamei
1996 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 18, 2005, 09:41
> As some of you will know, I am interested in attempting to verify or refute,
> the existence of a long distance neolithic trade route from Grimes Graves
> marked by puddingstone way marks.

Going to where? I've thought for a while Grimes Graves is on / near a prehistoric trade route from Seahenge to Avebury.
Peddars Way -> Ickneild Way -> Ridgeway.

The number of prehistoric sites that the first two pass is well above random chance.
PeterH
PeterH
1180 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 18, 2005, 09:51
Yes you are right about the Seahenge-Peddars Way-Icknield Way-Ridegwat route. Dr Rudge began his research into a puddingstone trail from Grimes Graves towards Stonehenge back in the 40's or 50s. I'm sitting on the fence but a summary can be seen here http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=2146412012
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