Walking the Age of Misrule

Last week, UK newspaper The Guardian had a series of supplements detailing Great British Walks. The one which appeared on day five will be of particular interest to readers of this blog as it focuses on Lost Worlds and Legends-themed walks.

Several of the trails are linked to sites featured heavily in Age of Misrule – Stonehenge, Loch Ness, Thomas the Rhymer’s Hills, Tintagel – and are a great way to soak up the atmosphere and discover more about these evocative places.

You can buy the whole set of walks supplements for a tenner here.

New Stonehenge Visitor Centre Announced

The Government has announced plans for a new £25 million visitor centre at Stonehenge.

Finally.

The entire ritual site around Stonehenge is pretty much an atrocity, and a mockery of its World Heritage Site status. Moving the visitor centre a mile and a half away is one small step to redressing the shockingly poor stewardship of such an important site, but the site is still criss-crossed with noisy roads and ruined at night by light pollution.

I don’t blame English Heritage – they do a good job under difficult circumstances. I do blame successive British governments. The next step should be to get rid of the roads, if necessary through long tunnels, which would then give the entire site some of the gravity and majesty it deserves.

The usual Government argument is that the cost would be prohibitive. Perhaps they should have used some of the billions spent sending Iraq back into the Stone Age for no discernible reason.

Standing With Stones

Michael Bott writes to tell me about a new dvd, Standing With Stones. It’s a personal journey starting at Ballowall Barrow in Cornwall and taking in more than a hundred megalithic sites across England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, finishing at The Tomb of the Eagles on South Ronaldsay, Orkney.

Michael is a film-maker of some experience, and his partner in this project, Rupert Soskin, has been an expedition leader to various sites around the world, including a trip to the Colombian jungles to visit the Kogi Indians.

The original plan was to turn this into a TV series, but when that didn’t happen Michael and Rupert decided they were so in love with the project they wanted to produce it themselves. Filming began in November 2006 for four months, and the edit was completed in November.

Michael says, “In brief: we both have a love for standing stones and all things megalithic. This was a journey of a lifetime and we had the best time ever!”

I haven’t seen the dvd so I can’t recommend it, but you can check it out and order it at www.standingwithstones.com.

The film will get its premiere at Chipping Norton Theatre, Oxfordshire, on April 15th in aid of the Rollrights Trust. Rupert and Michael will be attending. Tickets are £10.00 from the theatre box office Tel: 01608 642350.

Stonehenge Site Uncovered

“Archaeologists say they have found a huge ancient settlement used by the people who built Stonehenge.”

Developments at Stonehenge are proving more fascinating with each year. It appears to be unfolding in the shape of an enormous ritual site like the one at nearby Avebury. There’s still a great deal of work going on there so expect a few more text books to be ripped up in the coming months…

Megalithomania!

“THE NEWTON stone is a small, rather unassuming pillar in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. On one side is faded, ancient writing, on the other a curling snake and cylindrical patterning. Many would say that it is a typical example of a Scottish standing stone.”

One, shall we say, creative opinion, for the meaning behind the designs is detailed here. The truth, of course, is being defined in The Kingdom of the Serpent.