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John Michell lecture
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Andy Norfolk
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Re: John Michell lecture
May 06, 2016, 14:26
This will probably be my last comment on the misleading things said about John Michell's work in West Penwith.

In the 1979 edition of TOSOLE John Michell says that Boscawen-un circle is at 4172 2735 - this is wrong, but has no effect on the alignments John plotted on the 6" OS maps as shown in TOSOLE on which of course Boscawen-un is shown in precisely the right location. A more accurate grid ref is SW 4122 2736. As I've said before John was not hung up on grid refs to determine alignments - he went and looked and plotted them on accurate large scale maps.

In the same edition he places Boskednan Nine Maidens at 4341 3512. Barnatt gives SW 4343 3512. Again however John's grid reference is quite irrelevant because he didn't rely on them to determine alignments.

There has been criticism of the alignment from Men an Tol to a boundary stone at 4475 3586 saying that there is no stone there. A more accurate grid ref is SW 4475 3590, hardly a huge discrepancy, and there has been a stone there since at least the 1878 OS map. However the real point is yet again that John did not rely on the accuracy of grid references to determine the alignments as is perfectly obvious from what he says in TOSOLE. John also makes it abundantly clear in TOSOLE that he was only really interested in ancient monuments of the same period and merely noted other stones, crosses etc in passing.

By the way those you who have memories that work, you will recall that in the Country Tracks programme the person who found one of the stumps of the stones of the original Men an Tol Stone circle - first suggested by Blight and confirmed by the CAU a few years back - was Joe Crowley one of the presenters of the programme. I didn't tell him where to look and the expression on his face when he looked down as his rods crossed to find he was standing on a stone stub was priceless. One of the best things about that day was standing by the Men an Tol listening to five cuckoos calling at once.

I'm more interested in constructive discussions that arguments. If people do wish to criticise it would help if their criticisms were objective. Do read TOSOLE again - you'll find John talking about statistics and all sorts of other things with his usual eccentric erudition. It's worth remembering I think that, without John sparking the earth mysteries movement by publishing The View over Atlantis, this web site probably wouldn't exist.
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