Tag Archives: photography

Found Mounds: the Call of Albion…

France & Vincent

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‘…Maybe it is because it is our third visit or maybe it is because there are three of us, or maybe we had to work out the St Andrew thing before we were allowed to ascend, who knows?

Whatever the reasons, we re-convene on top of the man-made-conical-mound which hides behind the Church of St Nicholas, High Bradfield and Wen has an interesting take on proceedings.

“If St Andrew of Scotland is Andrew the Disciple of Christ then he may have come over here with Joseph of Arimathea.”

“And remember at that time there was no Scotland. Scotland was North Albion!”

“North Albion,” smiles Wen, “I like that.”

“Why did they come here?” says Ned.

“If we knew that…”

“If we knew that, then what?” says Wen.

“If we knew that for sure, we’d probably all be millionaires,” I say, somewhat wistfully.

“Not necessarily,” says Ned, who may already…

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Found Mounds…

France & Vincent

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‘…We didn’t go to High Bradfield to look for a mound we went to High Bradfield for the church there but we found a mound anyway.

It was hidden behind the church and was purporting to be a disused Motte-and-Bailey.

It was also overgrown with curly trees not unlike those we were surrounded by when looking for the Chat-Stone, now lost…for the moment at least.

I am doing the mound itself something of a disservice here because it is not actually purporting to be anything other than what it is, how could it do otherwise, but the ‘authorities’ for want of a better word are now passing it off as a disused Motte-and-Bailey and have been, perhaps, for some considerable time.

Now, far be it from me to cast aspersions upon the dictates of authority and as there have been excavations at the site which did indeed uncover large…

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Papal Bull…

France & Vincent

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Celtic Saint instrumental in the Eucharist of Fish and Loaves?…

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The Venerable Bede recorded in his Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, a copy of the letter written in 601AD which Pope Gregory sent to Abbot Mellitus, who was part of the papal mission to Britain. The instructions were clear… not to overthrow but to gently replace the indigenous faith:

“…that the temples of the idols in that nation ought not to be destroyed; but let the idols that are in them be destroyed; let water be consecrated and sprinkled in the said temples, let altars be erected, and relics placed there. For if those temples are well built, it is requisite that they be converted from the worship of devils to the service of the true God; that the nation, seeing that their temples are not destroyed, may remove error from their hearts, and knowing and adoring the true God…

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Telling Stones…

France & Vincent

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…Gazing into the depths of the reflection the moving torches seemed to open the gates of vision and she saw herself in an Other-Where…

Dressed in strange garb, looking across time with other eyes, watching herself made her feel dizzy and strange, as if seeing two landscapes, one in darkness, another shrouded in the mists of morning…

She tied the horsehair plait about her wrist, her mind swimming in the dreaming…

There were more than two worlds here…

There was a shape, a head echoed in the place where she stood…

Which shape was also high on the hilltop where it had been carved into the chalk – The water below was a gateway to another world…

And yet another world crested the hilltop, up behind the palisade.

There was a secret world too…

A world that few others knew…

A world where the ancestors lived…

It lay beyond…

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Long, Hot Summer…

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After a long, long, hot summer,

The mornings have finally turned autumnal.

Which must mean,

That Mister Fox,

Cannot be very far away…

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Saturday October 27th

Night of the Hunters Moon

Wortley Mens Club

Wortley

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And should you need to bone-up on

What, precisely, is involved here…

Some reading matter

In the form of four rather fantastic graphic novels

may help…

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All available to buy on Amazon…

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Get there!

The Celebration of Mister Fox…

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I never knew Holmfirth in the days of mill workers and clogs.

I really got to know her in the Post Industrial gloom,

Of swish Cafe Bars,

And cosy restaurants,

All day drinking parties frequented by the nouveau riche…

Who leap from still moving taxis,

Done up to the nines,  dressed to kill,

While up on the hill,

Something feral is stirring…

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Something ancient and unsought…

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So, as the lazy cars slow crawl,

Through tight-cobbled streets,

Held up by roaming party-goers,

Soft parading their unsteady path from the park…

And boozers sing boldly in the late afternoon heat

With rabid mouths, foaming,

Never quite finding the beat…

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A beast is preparing,

to be unleashed,

In the dark…

Father Bear…

HM15 970Pentre Ifan

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Which translates, ‘Ivan’s Village’ but was also formerly known as, ‘Arthur’s Quoit’.

Another ‘quoit’, and only a few miles away from the last one.

This seems, if anything, a little unimaginative.

Or, alternatively, it could signal a connection between the two sites.

The more obvious visual parallels though are with our first site, Carreg Samson.

Seen from one angle Pentre Ifan now frames the distant peak of Carningli (Hill of Angels) and like St Samson’s stone the upper ridge of its Cap follows closely the contours of the terrain which has always dominated its horizon.

We have been moving deeper into the country on our three-fold quest and the sites have become increasingly populace.

We met no one at the first site but at the second, we were hurried on our way by a couple of visitors as though we were holding up play on a golf course.

Here, we pass an entourage on the way in and on our way out we are replaced by another one.

The conveyor belt effect…

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True to the form in which we have cast these sketches we are over heating by this point in the proceedings.

Still, we have just come from a long climb up a big hill on a very hot day and the surrounding recumbents prove more than a tad adequate as baking stones.

It is perhaps just as well.

By paying too much attention to the stones one can start to become  a trifle uncomfortable in quite a different sense.

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For one thing, it becomes abundantly apparent that the central stone is not a support stone at all.

Not a support stone?

Quite definitely not.

But if it is not a support stone then what is it doing there, what is it, and why does it have claws?

Stone claws, or perhaps talons, which are firmly rooted in, not to say sprouting from, the earth?

Well, that is true, but even so…

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Maybe, whatever it is, is pointing the way.

Pointing the way to what and where?

To Ivan’s Village.

Whatever that means?

Ivan is Ian… is Jan, and Janus, the god-form of portals, is two-faced and looks both ways. In and out, up and down, before and after, here and there.

Ivan’s Village is Janus’ place!

Well, it is one aspect of Janus’ face, or Jane’s, certainly.

All of which means, we are still no nearer to an answer…

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…Not necessarily…

The symbolic preoccupation of all these structures seems to be with Headlands, (end of the land and start of the sea) or Mountain peaks (end of the land and start of the sky). And by extension with islands which is land situated in the sea, and also with birds which are beings that fly in the sky.

In other words the builders of these structures are concerned with thresholds and what lies beyond those thresholds in the domains which they bound. The analogy always involves the natural environment which is then related to their, and hence to our, own experience.

So, it is not so much from here to eternity but rather from here to our apparently limited horizons and then on beyond them…

Which may very well be an eternity or if not, then at least, an endless round.

Simple.

Eloquent.

Profound.

And that is just the formal symbolism of the structures, without consideration of the precise geometries of their situation…

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Despite the conveyor belt effect we still get time enough to do what is needed.

And we conclude our ‘…Prayer’ with a little chanting.

Impromptu.

Because that’s the way…

we like it.

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You think that will have gone unnoticed?

Quite possibly not.

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