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Howburn Digger
Howburn Digger
983 posts

The Devil's Plantation
Dec 13, 2010, 12:43
After few recent topics on ley lines, lines of sight etc. I thought the latest film project by glasgow filmmaker May Miles Thomas might be of interest to some on here. The project has just won a 2010 BAFTA (interactive section).
It is partly an exploration of Harry Bell's pamphlet on Glasgow's geometry "Glasgow's Secret Geometry: The City's Oldest Mystery" (1984) which looks at connections between many ancient sites in and around Glasgow. But there is more... The filmmaker May Miles Thomas also draws in the story of a patient at Leverndale mental hospital who regularly absconded and would often be found at these sites. The patient never knew Harry Bell or of his pamphlet. She was in Leverndale mental hospital from the 1950's until the early 1990's.
Psychogeography, mystery, ancient sites. The Devil's Plantation is a strange place to visit. navigation around the site is pretty straightforward and you can start where you left off each time you visit. 66 film clips and little panels of text draw you through the project. Just the thing for these cold winter nights! Get a big cup of cocoa, a pile of chocolate hob nobs and go visit The Devil's Plantation.

2526 posts

Re: The Devil's Plantation
Dec 13, 2010, 13:22
Just watched a wee bit of that and so far that is brilliant. Background music is slightly spooky, almost Glasvegas like ala Fitba Tops, Snow Flake etc. A lot of the places are familiar so nice to see them from different angles. Cheers!
2 posts

Re: The Devil's Plantation
Jul 15, 2013, 16:29
There a screening of The Devils Plantation as part of a Psychogeography night in Glasgow on the 27th July. It's well worth it for the Film alone.


A Night of Psychogeographical Exploration in music from The Psychogeographical Commission and Glasgow sound artist Caroline McKenzie, with a showing of the feature film ‘The Devil’s Plantation’ by BAFTA winning filmmaker May Miles Thomas, with an Introduction to Psychogeography by Dr David Manderson.

£8/£6 (+ booking fee) from http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/398195

The Devil’s Plantation
A feature film based on May Miles Thomas’ BAFTA-winning website, The Devil’s Plantation promises an unforgettable journey into the hidden corners of Glasgow. It tells the true story of amateur archaeologist Harry Bell whose self-published book Glasgow’s Secret Geometry describes his obsessive search for a secret network of aligned sites traversing the city. The original work changed course after the discovery of an abandoned casefile belonging to ex-psychiatric patient Mary Ross whose long walks in the city mirrored those of Bell. Narrated by Kate Dickie and Gary Lewis, the film lovingly captures the spirit of the dérive (unplanned journey or drift) and like any good excursion arrives at a satisfying and surprising conclusion.

The Psychogeographical Commission
The Psychogeographical Commission are well known for high-concept recordings based around London (‘Genius Loci’), the psychological effect of the second half of a year (‘Patient Zero’) and the Occult origins of the Glasgow Subway System (‘Widdershins’). For this appearance they will be soundtracking a film based around two journeys through Maryhill, intertwining the past with what they found whilst walking.

Caroline McKenzie
Caroline has lived close to the River Clyde for just over a decade. In that time, she has crossed its bridges many, many times and 2 new ones have been built. For her set, she will be considering these bridges and the halfway point they represent; they are inherently transitional and yet we cross them without a thought.

David Manderson
"David's remarkable debut novel, Lost Bodies (Kennedy & Boyd) has a rare quality which takes it into two camps that critics usually keep apart, it’s both a literary novel and a compelling page turner and well worth adding to your reading pile if, like me, you’re beginning to turn away from genre-defined fiction and looking at new ways of telling stories.In the Guardian Review last August in the pre-publicity surrounding Umbrella, Will Self generated a good debate about 'the failure of modernist fiction' and wrote about his anxiety in finding the right form. He ought to add Lost Bodies to his TBR pile."
Bookrambler, Northwords Now
1 posts

Edited Aug 02, 2022, 12:49
Re: The Devil's Plantation
Apr 17, 2022, 15:46
Howburn Digger wrote:

It is partly an exploration of Harry Bell's pamphlet on Glasgow's geometry "Glasgow's Secret Geometry: The City's Oldest Mystery"

Harry's books have been out of print for a long time, and the websites that his son Colin created have gone the way of their free hosting providers.

However, I have recently obtained permission and blessings from Harry's family to curate and update his works, and the first fruits of this can be found at the new Glasgow's Secret Geometry website, which includes an interactive map of all the sites and alignments in his Forgotten Footsteps and Glasgow's Secret Geometry, plus some sites and alignments from my own work, and a couple of Alfred Watkins' leys of Roman forts on the Antonine Wall, as mentioned in The Old Straight Track.

It's a work in progress with more to come, but I hope you find it useful.
Howburn Digger
Howburn Digger
983 posts

Re: The Devil's Plantation
Apr 18, 2022, 16:32
Thank you Grahame! Quite a piece of work you have undertaken there. This is a most welcome addition. The old "Glasgow's Secret Geometry" site had disappeared and copies of the pamphlet simply never appear! Great to have some of this material back in circulation!
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