SUFFOLK’S ANCIENT SITES:
A VISION OF AN ARCANE LANDSCAPE
First edition published in 2008, and significantly updated in 2018.
Far away from the mind boggling complexity of the pyramids of Giza, yet equally compelling, sit seven sites of mythic antiquity whose geomantic and geometric design collectively creates a beautiful and vast heptagon in the landscape. The distances between the locations and the dimension of this symbol has been faithfully duplicated at other locations in Southern Britain, consciously created and designed to personify a harmonious fusion between temple proportion, the Earth’s circumference and ancient units of measure.
I was seduced into reading it. It’s wealth of antiquarian detail is woven around a core of mystical knowledge.
FORWARD – BY DAVID FURLONG
Making sense of the faint echoes from an ancient culture is a slow and painstaking task, relying as much on intuition as hard factual evidence. We all know of great monuments like Stonehenge and Avebury but what sort of people built these amazing edifices and what other secrets might they have woven into the landscape? In today’s culture we link our cities by road, rail and electricity grid networks. Perhaps our ancestors had the same idea but from a slightly different perspective.
In this study on the Suffolk landscape Jeremy Taylor has spent long hours researching obscured landscape traces that reach back in time more than four thousand years. His discoveries point to a connection with the landscape that can be expressed in geometric terms. Simple geometry discovered by a peg, stick marker and a length of string, scratched into the dirt on the ground, must have seemed a magical operation to an ancient people. Perhaps it was a way of understanding the two great astronomical bodies in the sky – the sun and the moon and the attendant patterns of the night time sky – perhaps it was just a fascination with the way that lines, circles and number could be combined. Whatever the impulse what we do know is that megalithic man built huge structures that reflected this symbolism. It is not too much of a jump to postulate that he/she might have wanted to express these same principles on a macrocosmic scale in their landscape, perhaps as a way of creating a ritual space in which to reside.
My own researches on the Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire, set out in my book The Keys to the Temple, showed the amazing skills of the Neolithic people in surveying and setting out a vast twin circle pattern in the landscape. To have done this they would have to have had a high level of numeracy and the ability to work with accurate measurements. In this work Jeremy Taylor shows another such pattern set out in the landscape of Suffolk creating, in this case, a seven pointed star, centred on the great abbey of Bury St Edmunds. We may wonder at the ingenuity of our ancestors who perceived their landscape as a ritual place, perhaps holding ceremonies at significant points in the pattern on key dates in the year.
This is a well researched book which adds to our perception and understanding of the peoples who inhabited our lands millennia ago and I would commend it to the reader.