The Mad Sculptor of Meifod – P4 Winter 2016

The Mad Sculptor of Meifod – P4 Winter 2016

Druids visiting churches? Well, it’s more a case of visiting a site which contains something interesting. In this case M and I were at the end of our Winter Solstice day. As the light began to fade we headed to our final destination – St Tysilio & St Mary church in Meifod, The attraction? A sculpted stone of unusual origins. The church stands in large grounds with several older trees flanking the building and lining the approach. The building itself is larger than the town would seem to warrant, but that’s often the case for places which were once hugely significant, but which have now fallen into obscurity. We found the church to be open and welcoming, and were not surprised to find that a clergy-lady was its custodian. Along with a...

Surrey 4 – The Matron and The Ancient Yew

Surrey 4 – The Matron and The Ancient Yew

On a bright clear morning I made my way south and west of the M25 ring road around London, and down into the heart of Surrey’s scenic surroundings. I saw signs for Bognor Regis and Worthing and realised that I was closer to the South Downs National Park then I had imagined. Yet it felt like the very heartlands of England – pretty narrow roads with passing places; rustic detached houses with plenty of land; beautiful villages with quaint pubs; and avenues of deciduous trees in the full flourish of autumn colour. Every mile was a delight. I stopped at what I have to day is one of the prettiest villages I have ever seen. Dunsfold is a collection of a few large houses with delightfully landscaped gardens, a kempt village green, and a valley view to top it...

The Thin Veil – Samhain 2016

The Thin Veil – Samhain 2016

It’s Samhain, or Halloween and I’m travelling to Valle Crucis Abbey in Llangollen in the heart of the night. The idea is that I will meet with Cailleach and Duignan to take advantage of the thin veil between the Middle Earth and The Underworld. If you need a “catch up” on these two “personalities” then here’s a link with keywords for each: Cailleach ¦ Duignan As I drive towards the town, down weaving flowing dark roads that I know so well, I hear a phrase which I don’t understand the relevance of at that time. The phrase which repeats itself is “ready or not“, and it is sung in the style in which The Fugees did that track a while ago: “Ready or not, here I come. You can’t hide. Gonna find...

Double Cistercian

Double Cistercian

For years I had been coming across the name “Strata Florida“. This Cistercian abbey in Cardiganshire (South Wales) had often been linked (in the kinds of books that I read) to another abbey more familiar to me – Vale Crucis in Llangollen (North Wales). Finding that I had a free day, and also finding that the day was due to be fair and mild for the time of year, the urge came upon me to go a-visiting. I made preparations and drove the two-and-a-half hours down through the spine of the eastern welsh road system. The journey was pleasant and I was perfectly content with being on my own. Of course, I wasn’t. A hawk appeared as I began my journey, and then others appeared at regular intervals throughout the rest of the trip. And I was acutely...

Lammas 2015 P8 The Pink Knight and the Black Chamber

Lammas 2015 P8 The Pink Knight and the Black Chamber

Kilmartin Museum was excellent. Lots to see and very interesting for us as well, which is not often the case. I particularly like their outdoor exhibit demonstrating the alignment of the nearby megaliths with the sun’s position. A quirky little pedestal which I’m sure many will have overlooked. We decided we had enough time to visit the church too, although I’m not sure what to make of my findings! Alongside the church building was a smaller stone building housing an array of carved stones ranging from 1100 to 1717 in date. The third earliest stone (cracked) dowsed as being energetically worthwhile me investigating. So I did. I held my hand on the stone and soon I was in meditative mind. As my thoughts withdrew a picture began to form. I saw a...

Coat of Arms – Lammas 8

Coat of Arms – Lammas 8

In hindsight, this was my final eventful experience in Kilmartin and it was a reminder of something long forgotten. Like I needed reminding. We had just finished up at the Castle and headed to the church in Kilmartin. It’s a small place and to be quite honest I wasn’t expecting much in the way of work. I took a walk around the place and found it to be quite pleasant. Of course there were plenty of tourist taking pictures and so I joined them in this escapade. It only takes about a minute before I am bored of that and decide to investigate with the rods. A pastime that is more obtuse when surrounded by tourists, but what they hay! I asked the rods for something that would be of interest to me and was taken inside an ancient building or so the signs...