Posts Tagged ‘priory’
This is the second part of our Yorkshire outing at Imbolc. In this half of the day we had our serious heads on. We went looking for a mighty stone circle, then passed a curious tower that we had to investigate, went to dowse at Bolton Abbey priory as the light began to fade, and then made a rapid return to the stone circle to clean up. All will be explained.
Beyond Malham Cove we realised we have gone the wrong way. We shouldn’t have been going through Malham, beautiful as it was. We stopped and re-calibrated our route. Another half hour to the stone circle – really? It had seemed so close on the map. We checked our route once more as the road turned into a single car-width track but we were on the right road. Upwards we climbed, glad of the four-wheel drive and new tyres, but my poor suspension paid a heavy price for our wilderness visit.
We parked and made out way to where a cairn was marked on the map. There was no stone circle in this area and this cairn was all we had to go on. Nobody that we passed knew where this ‘Druid’s Altar’ stone circle was. how could they miss it – it seemed huge and distinctive? The warning signs began to tingle like an over-active spider-sense. After fifteen minutes walking along a path to nowhere we decided to climb up to the nearest peak to see what we could see. It was hard going in the icy grass. At the top we saw…nothing. On the way back to the car I had a brainwave – what if I could find the OS Map co-ordinates and use my GPS2OS application to locate the site? It worked. Frustrating moments later we had our directions – must remember that trick! We were only a mile out in both longitude and latitude! Bacon saved.
To be honest we still struggled to find the Druid’s Altar stone circle even when we had the exact co-ordinates! The images on web sites had not quite shown the diminutive scale of the stones. I thought they were six feet tall – they were three feet tall. We found our respective power centres and had lunch. My power centre was fortunately on the lee-ward side of the tallest stone, so I was sheltered. The power centre felt good, and it was comfortable too, which was surprising.
I was soon up dowsing again – the end of January is still bitingly cold when you’re still, so I was soon dowsing all over, asking questions about the circle, where the energies were, where they flowed to. One of the checks I have started to do is to ask whether there is anything that needs modifying. I put it that generally because it is a kind of “balanced” question – neither supposing that positive nor negative energies need be applied, only asking whether the circle is properly energised as it was originally intended to be. The answer was, “Something needs to be done”. Taking a lead from Kal, I asked to be led to the place that had the problem. Moments later I had wound my way to the only other large standing stone in the circle – the one that had a great big horizontal crack in it.
Norton Priory, Runcorn, Cheshire. September 14th 2008
After visiting Runcorn Hill, and still feeling very positive about the day’s work, we headed a little further down the expressway to Norton Priory. Yet another place that I should have been to but hadn’t. Both Runcorn Hill and Norton Priory had come to my attention months ago when I was connecting ancient sites by straight lines using Google Maps. It has the excellent facility to draw lines all over it – so I had been connecting ‘dots’ that I knew were energetic sites (like Arbor Low) with other cardinally-aligned places to discover other sites of interest along those neutral alignment leys. These two sites we were visiting today were on an East-West ley line I had drawn, so I wanted to verify the neutral line’s presence at those places. Runcorn Hill – check! Now, Norton Priory.
We were met by a delightfully pretty lady who seemed genuinely interested in our purpose when we revealed it. We stuck lucky on getting in for free – just picked the right day, I guess. Funny that.
After stocking up on stout snacks we headed into the museum. Well, you had to go through it to get elsewhere, so… I wasn’t particularly interested in being told the history of the site post whatever arbitrary date C.E. (I use ‘Common Era’ in preference to ‘Anno Domini’, and B.C.E. in preference to ‘Before Christ’). My eye got taken by a rack of posters, though, that showed photographs of tile patterns. The first one seemed distinctly Celtic, so I homed in on the display to view the others. Some of the patterns are reproduced here:-
As Kal mentioned we headed swiftly up a spiral staircase so that we could overlook the whole site of the ruins of the priory. From that vantage point I could make out that the older part of the chapel was a simple cross shape – three squares surrounding a central square, and one longer section. The ruins were oriented so that the long section of the inner cross faced towards the East. I wondered if there might have originally been a large window at that end to let in the morning light?
I took that picture above whilst standing in the male power centre right in the middle of the central old cross of priory buildings, flanked on each other side by a grave or graves, each open to the elements, and made of sandstone. These graves were a source of fascination to the many boys who were running around all that afternoon, but we noticed that they never tarried over the graves. Often, when they encountered them, they slowed and looked indecisive and uncomfortable. Well, read what you like into that.
The North-South axis of the old cross had the 10-feet wide neutral line thrusting straight through it. I followed that line as it waves slightly from side to side through the remnants of building walls, through rooms and between graves or around them. In fact, I noticed, at a collection of four graves the line weaved wildly around their edge to avoid crossing them. How odd!
These particular graves drew me back to them after I had followed the neutral alignment ley until it straightened out to leave the end of the site. The four graves were one large one (adult), and three small ones (babies/children). I thought it unusual so I called Kal over to help me investigate them in more detail. Why were there three small ones with this one large grave?
I was curious. Kal and I started asking questions in turn:
- “Was this the grave of an adult?” – yes.
- “Was it a female adult?” – no. So it was a man! We’re clever, you know
- “Does this grave emit healthy positive energies?” – no. Oh!
- “Was this man a good man?” – no. OK – let’s check, “Was this man a bad man?”. Yes.
- “Was this man well respected in his lifetime.” – yes. Right, that’s probably why he’s buried here, we guess. Not so bright now, are we? D’uh!
- We went to each smaller grave, “Is this the grave of a baby?” – Yes to all. Oh, dear! Well, we had seen it coming.
- Next to determine the children’s gender, so at each small grave we asked, “Is this a male’s grave?” and confirmed it with the opposite too. Two boys, one girl.
- “Was this a family?” – yes.
- “Were they killed by illness?” – yes. On a roll now! Smart guess.
Suddenly it all felt wrong! My enthusiasm to continue questioning faded dramatically, and I looked up to see Kal drop his rods at that moment too. We looked at each other quizzically. Then Kal spotted the plaque on the larger wall at the side of the ‘room’ we were in. Here’s what it said:
Seriously. That was the order in which it happened. We couldn’t believe it ourselves. A lucky guess? We knew we knew slightly more too – the children were two boys and a girl. Wow! Completely mind-blowing moment I can tell you.
I dragged Kal back to the centre of the old cross and made him verify some male spirals that came out of the power centre in the middle until I could see he really couldn’t continue. He looked apathetic.
OK? I asked. “I don’t like dowsing here, or rather…I don’t feel I should be!” he stated. I knew what he meant. “The energies are weak and dull. I’ve just asked if there’s anything of interest to us now, and it said ‘No’.”. I couldn’t disagree. I felt similar. I was just going through the motions of scribbling diagrams, but there was none of the usual excitement of a new site. It’s like it now had no purpose!
We had learned something, but we didn’t want to repeat the experience or delve too much further! There do seem to be some sites, associated with the dead, that make us unwilling to try to uncover information. Do we fear what we’ll find, or is it a respect for the dead?
Follow your own path, leave the dead alone!