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Mazes and Labyrinths


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Author Topic: Mazes and Labyrinths  (Read 2210 times)
Kabrina Teppe
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« Reply #120 on: April 04, 2009, 11:38:32 pm »

4 ft. high. It may be that the frequent association of turf mazes with ancient earthworks of various kinds is something more than accidental, but we do not seem to have sufficient evidence to establish a necessary connection between the two things.

Lyddington, another Rutland village, has also been mentioned as possessing a turf maze. A writer in the Rutland Magazine in 1907, for instance, says, in speaking of Priestly Hill, which overlooks the village on the east, "at one time there was a turf maze on its slope, where, as our old people tell us, their grandparents, when children, used to play." The writer in question, however, does not make it clear whether he is really quoting an oral tradition of the locality or is basing his statement on the brief mention of Lyddington as a reputed maze-site which appears in Trollope's 1858 memoir. It is at any rate very difficult to trace any reliable evidence of such a maze, and it seems not unlikely that Trollope's reference, which is quite devoid of detail, may have had its origin in a misinterpretation of the elaborate series of ancient trenches situated in a field to the north-east of the church. These trenches have been identified as the "fish-stews" belonging to the old manor-house of the Bishops of Lincoln.

The similarity between the designs of the turf mazes mentioned above and those of some of the French pavement labyrinths, that in Chartres Cathedral for example, cannot fail to be noticed.

At Boughton Green, in Northamptonshire, about half a mile from the village of Boughton and near the ruined church of St. John the Baptist, was, until recently, a turf maze of like design but having the innermost convolutions of purely spiral form (Fig. 61). It was 37 ft. in diameter and was called the "Shepherd Ring" or "Shepherd's Race." The "treading" of it was formerly a great feature of the three days' fair in June, an event dating from a charter by Edward III. in 1353.

p. 76

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