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Circles under churches
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Littlestone
Littlestone
5381 posts

Re: Circles under churches
Sep 29, 2009, 12:26
York Minster is the only church in Christendom ever to have hung mistletoe within its walls - and the fact that it is York Minster means an archbishop must have made the decision.


Very interesting - thanks.

What we've found, visiting churches over the last few years, is just how many seem to follow the same pattern of being very near a water source - an ancient sacred site? There are then often signs of Roman occupation on or near the site, and then later of a church there incorporating (sanding) stones, Roman bricks etc in its fabric. The Church of St Mary with St Leonard at Broomfield in Essex http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/11391/church_of_st_mary_with_st_leonard_broomfield.html is a good example of this pattern. Pewsey church http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/3867/pewsey.html in Wiltshire though is an example of some really beautiful large stones incorporated in its foundations and under some of its buttresses, and it's not hard to imagine them as once forming part of a stone circle.

The question is whether the Church was suppressing or assimilating the older beliefs - perhaps it was doing both in different places at different times; or perhaps, as you quote, "Do not destroy pagan temples, but convert them to Christian use so that the people will feel more comfortable coming there." really was the tactic used and the stones we now see under some churches are indeed the remains of 'converted pagan temples'.
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