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Circles under churches
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Littlestone
Littlestone
5381 posts

Edited May 20, 2010, 12:53
Re: Circles under churches
May 20, 2010, 10:12
Perhaps what this thread has illustrated is just how much more common (and widespread) is the evidence for pre-Christian 'structures' at Christian sites; stones found either under a church (Alton Priors), built into its fabric (Pewsey) or scattered close by (Ingatestone). Perhaps it's also safe to assume now that many of these pre-Christian sites started off as (sacred) meeting places, often close to rivers, streams or wells. The number of churches found along the Winterbourne and Kennet seem to reinforce the idea of a still very active pre-Christian belief system along those waterways well into the second half of the first millennium - a belief system that the early Church here found necessary to suppress or assimilate.

In some ways the question of, 'Were the pre-Christian belief systems suppressed or assimilated?' is more interesting than the (surviving) Christianised megaliths themselves. It may be of concern, however, that the Church itself is sometimes not aware of these megaliths (sometimes literally on its doorstep) and this lack of awareness could lead to them being lost or damaged. TMA has gone a long way towards recording some megaliths under its Christianised Sites section, and there are several contributors here who are in the process of compiling their own lists - perhaps it will be possible to bring them all together at some point.

It's good that the awareness level for Christianised sites and Christianised megaliths has been raised but also at risk are the megaliths that lie scattered along our roads - megaliths which are now used as buffers between house or shop fronts and passing traffic. Perhaps some sort of record of these is also needed so they are not torn up and cast aside the next time a new house or shop is built, or road improvements are implemented. With that in mind please see - http://themodernantiquarian.com/forum/?thread=57970&message=730021
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