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Circles under churches
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Ishmael
683 posts

So sad innit
Nov 28, 2005, 23:32
the Troll can't resist even tho its comments are being ignored.
go on! One more posting to this before the Xmas wine starts to run out....sigh
Creyr
Creyr
114 posts

Re: Yew in place names
Nov 28, 2005, 23:35
I havnt read all this looong thread so apologies if its allready been said.

I thought that 'Ull' in place names was a yew tree reference.
Named for Ulla/Ullr the Norse God of archers, skiing and yew magic.
There is a rather grand yew tree in martindale churchyard near Ullswater.

cx
PeterH
PeterH
1180 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Nov 28, 2005, 23:39
Exactly. There is no stone in London so it would have had to come from somewhere else. There are a few erratic sarsens north of the Thames left behind by glaciers. So any material for stone circles would have had to be brought in from Kent which is the nearest source. Possible but absolutely no evidence. The Romans were the stone builders of London and that is why I strongly suspect that the London Stone is nothing more that a fragment of a milestone.

There is an old story that there was a stone circle at Ludgate Hill, but nothing has been found to support it. Does anyone really believe that the Romans would have left stone circles intact when they built Londinium on the abandoned earthwork of Londinos? Would stone circles have been left undisturbed when Londinium was abandoned and wooden Saxon Lundenburg arose just a bit further up stream? Does anyone really think that there is a lost stone circle under St Pauls that Sir Christopher Wren didn't find when he rebuilt the cathedral?
Littlestone
Littlestone
5384 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Jan 25, 2007, 16:09
Sorry to resurrect this old thread but I'm sure I read somewhere (maybe here) that there are sarsens under the church at All Cannings (or was it Bishops Cannings or another church in that area - don't mean the churches at Alton Barnes or Alton Priors). Can't find anything under Christianised Sites but any info would be appreciated - thanks.
slumpystones
769 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Jan 25, 2007, 17:28
Littlestone wrote:
Sorry to resurrect this old thread but I'm sure I read somewhere (maybe here) that there are sarsens under the church at All Cannings (or was it Bishops Cannings or another church in that area - don't mean the churches at Alton Barnes or Alton Priors). Can't find anything under Christianised Sites but any info would be appreciated - thanks.


Rumours abound that there is a Neolithic long barrow under Addington church, and the topography would be perfect for a SW-aligned barrow on a promontory exactly as at Coldrum.
moss
moss
2826 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Jan 25, 2007, 17:47
Pevesner says.... All Cannings; no mention of sarsens, but Norman beginnings (so probably no saxon) but at All Cannings Cross 3/4 miles an Iron Age settlement and Rybury Camp 1 mile ne..

Bishops Canning - large church, again Norman is the earliest mentioned; apparently it has a penitential chair, or at least where one might have been under a gigantic painted hand with a large number of latin tags (death and sin) painted on the fingers! Kitchen barrow 2 miles away

http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/5077
Littlestone
Littlestone
5384 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Jan 25, 2007, 18:50
Thanks moss.

When Alton Barns and Alton Priors are also included you begin to see a whole bunch of churches centred in a really very small area. Not dissimilar to the concentration of churches around Avebury - must surely indicate an ongoing tradition of pre-Christian activity in those areas that the Church felt it needed to subdue (or assimilate). Wonder if there's actually a trail of churches with pre-Christian elements beginning at Winterbourne Bassett, through Avebury and on to Stonehenge? Pewsey church is the last one that I know of en route to Stonehenge with pre-Christian elements but there might be more along the way - something to suss out on a warm summer's day.
lilydee05
21 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 13, 2007, 22:08
Apologies for relifting this thread back but I thought you might find the following interesting in your discussions. I am a new member with no training or qualifications in ancient culture or history, I have simply grown up in Wiltshire with Stonehenge in my back garden and am in awe of everything ancient in wiltshire, with specific interest in Pagan cultures, practise, traditions and "buildings".

I am getting married soon and wanted to get married somewhere with "history" and where I am lucky enough to live in North Newnton (which apparently has one of the oldest churches in Britain) I also come under the remit of the Altons (Barnes and Priors) and have recently visited the Church in Alton Priors. What I found was very interesting. I took along my boyfriend who is very experienced in renovations of old buildings and has an unbiased point of view.

The church stands on a North-South axis (Xtian axis I believe). If you look closely you will find an east-west allignment (pre-christian allignement) where the old doors have since been bricked up on what is clearly the older part of the building. The old doors being in line with the Yew Tree. At the top of one bricked up door is a carving, I believe its saxon origin with the 2 circles (one inside of the other) with a dot in the middle - something which I believe is common with Saxon jewellery decorations?????

If you also look closely at the different stages of building at Alton Priors you can see very distinct sections (this is where the boyfriend came in handy!). You can clearly see that the original building (the oldest) was more of a box shape with 2 doors on an east-west allignment. On the Yew side you can clearly see trusses where wooden supports would have once stood (similar to North Newnton wooden supports (which has it's first "written" evidence of there being a church in 968 - awe insipring if you ever get the chance to visit). We couldn't identify any evidence of windows as such but I'm sure we will return soon as it's only down the road.

Please let me stress the point that I may probably be wrong on various points such as allignments, decorations etc posted here and I do not wish to enter into what seemed quite "harsh typing!" in previous posts - I just wanted to supply some interesting information on the allignment contradictions of the clearly older building compared to the new additional buildings. Awww, I hope I don't receive a thrashing for this post!

Littlestone - as you live in Essex (I think I read this in a previous post) and as I live about 5 minutes away from the Altons, and I will be visting there again soon, if there's anything you wish for me to do, just let me know as I would be happy to help.
Littlestone
Littlestone
5384 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Aug 14, 2007, 06:12
Hi lilydee05

Thank you for your fascinating post on the Alton Priors church. I was particularly interested in the double circle carving that you saw above one of the bricked up doors (I've never noticed that!) and wonder if anyone can shed any more light on the meaning of that design. Though I think the Alton Priors church is thought to be Norman perhaps it replaced an earlier Saxon one (as at Avebury) retaining some of the features of the earlier church. Were you able to go inside and look at the sarsen stones under the two trapdoors? There are also some impressive sarsens under the buttresses of Pewsey and Clyffe Pypard churches that you may be interested in.

Thank you for your offer of help regarding the Alton Priors church - you've made me want to go back there again soon so I'll try and do that sometime this month (and also now take a look at North Newnton which I haven't yet visited).

Welcome to TMA by the way. Quite a few of us here get together in Avebury each year so hope to meet up with you there one day.
lilydee05
21 posts

Edited Aug 14, 2007, 09:15
Re: Circles under churches
Aug 14, 2007, 09:03
I'm having a bit of trouble uploading pictures at the moment but I hope to post a picture of the carvings for you to have a look at.

Dee
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