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Circles under churches
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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.
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