The Arcane Landscape Trust was founded by Jeremy Taylor and Mark Offord to advance the knowledge and understanding of historic British Ritual Landscapes and their human heritage as a rich area of untapped cultural significance. Jeremy and Mark have been actively collaborating on historical research projects since the publication of Jeremy’s first work ’Seven Wonders’ in 2008.
Jeremy’s core area of specialism focuses on the ancient ritual landscapes and skyscapes of Britain. He has lived in Suffolk all of his life and has travelled the world over, investigating sacred sites in Malta, Turkey, Greece, Japan, Mexico and Egypt to underpin and validate his own research findings closer to home.
His passion is for the overlooked aspect of skyscapes and archaeoastronomy within mainstream archaeology, an area which is only now slowly starting to be more widely understood and appreciated.
As a member of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History for many years, Jeremy has developed a solid understanding of ongoing developments and current opportunities in the field. He has recently volunteered on an archaeological dig on a site he was researching for an upcoming publication, working alongside the leading academic of the project. His outside of the box thinking allows him to wander wide of the rigid traditional consensus, and as such his critical challenge recently led to a major revision of an ancient earthwork.
He has developed close working relationships with highly regarded international experts and academics who have been captivated by his insights, research and new perspective, including a leading American Professor of Architecture specialising in cultural landscapes and rituals, a Professor of Medieval History and Archaeology at Sohland Observatory (Archaeoastronomy Section) in Germany, and an Emeritus Professor of German and Linguistics and respected authority on folklore, all of whom have helped affirm much of Jeremy’s writing.
Jeremy firmly believes that in an age of fractured relationships and mobile communities, restoring a deeper relationship with place and the past can enhance our ability to personally engage, leading to empowerment, social inclusion, and participation in society, resulting in improved health and wellbeing. He is fascinated by this link between personal lived experience, opportunity, and education, and how with a new grammar for the mind this can support restorative practice, allowing people to reframe their thinking and relationships with the environment.
Mark’s professional background is in creative communication, and he works as Brand Elevation Manager for the MS Society. He lives with his family on the Shotley Peninsula and is a lifelong Suffolk resident.
He is a keen advocate for public landscape accessibility and inclusive pathways. Mark lives with Multiple Sclerosis and his personal experience feeds a deep interest into the mental and physical interplay between mind, body and place.
He has collaborated with mythic landscape writer Justin Hopper, and psychogeographic walking artist Phil Smith. Mark is also the creator of ‘Strand’ – a performative guided silent group walk, uniting the act of pilgrimage with the broken brain.
Mark has developed a series of open access ritual walks under the guise of The Rough Band with artist and curator Robert Pacitti. These works invite active participation, encouraging new community rituals, from small group walks to mass participation events.
Mark has shared Jeremy’s interest in the hidden nature of Suffolk’s ancient landscape for nearly three decades and is committed to expanding the reach of the Arcane Landscape Trust’s work.
Mark is an author and researcher. His primary research interests are Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Iron Age Scandinavian studies, especially literature, art and culture; religion and belief; ritual and magical practice; and northern pre-Christian worldviews. He also pursues general interests in folklore, mythology, mythopoeia and archeoastronomy.
Griff started out as a graduate in Applied Physics and as such had a firm grounding in physical sciences and application of experimental procedure. He has since moved into the world of documentation having contributed method and means to simplify and automate the production and publication of documentation written to strict specification for a wide range of industries including military, nuclear and legislative.
As a keen walker and hiker, the rural landscape has always offered him a place of peace and thought where contemplation has produced many answers to both personal and professional issues as well as offering questions as to the features that he has encountered. In 2009 Griff started a blog to record his walking exploits that has also grown into an area to present the results of research and investigation into the history and folklore of the landscapes he has encountered. Having lived in the Suffolk Coastal area for the past 20 years, this area has provided Griff with a rich source for both history and folklore which he has attempted to research and investigate from a wide variety of historic documents and personal conversations with local folk.