Saturday, 5 February 2011

Megalithic Monday: Gamelands Stone Circle II

What was special about this place? Why here? These are the critical questions with stone circles – purpose and location, location and purpose. For all the theories about stone circles as cattle pens, astronomical instruments, tribal centres and meeting places I feel that the answer is much more simple and often very obvious, if only one looks up from the theodolite, slide rule and tape measure. Such huge, megalithic structures require planning and resources – not just brute labour but intellectual resources and spiritual resources. The circle is here because ancient people wanted to mark this place – and if we look around we quickly see that the most dominant topographical feature is the massive bulk of Knot Hill looming over the stone circle from the north. The presence of this hill must be significant to the location of Gamelands stone circle – perhaps because of it’s shape, rounded and prominent, or the fact that it’s limestone geology and hydrology marked it as different and worthy of celebration.
We have lost the stories and lore that explained the significance of the location but it can be partially regained; with a sensitivity to place and lines of sight, with an understanding of the direction of valleys and passes, with an awareness of how the ebb and flow of the landscape impacts on the lives of plants, animals and people we can begin to rebuild the lost lore of Ancient British Animism that lies buried with the megaliths and rock-art of these islands.

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