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Mazes and Labyrinths


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Author Topic: Mazes and Labyrinths  (Read 2207 times)
Kabrina Teppe
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« Reply #135 on: April 04, 2009, 11:45:49 pm »

In a manuscript book of the latter part of the eighteenth century the maze is spoken of as a favourite resort for the young bloods of the town, a complicated system of rules and wagers (in gallons of beer) being laid down in connection with walking the maze.

It is stated that a large ash tree at one time occupied the centre, but that it perished by fire in the Guy Fawkes celebrations of November s, 1823.

A few years ago some boys, playing on the central mound, discovered a Roman coin. This does not, of course, prove that the work is of Roman origin.

In the 1789 edition of Camden's "Britannia" a drawing of the maze exhibits merely a series of concentric circles with extensions on the outermost pair forming the "bastions." This illustration could hardly have been prepared on the spot.

About twenty miles to the north-west of Saffron Walden and a few miles to the west of Cambridge lies the little village of Comberton (Cambs). The play-ground of the village school occupies one corner at the cross-roads, and in the south-west angle of this, enclosed by iron railings, lies a turf maze of a pattern similar to that at Alkborough. Owing to the use which the school children make of it the paths are nearly denuded of grass, but the ridges are well defined, as shown by the photograph (Fig. 65), which was taken in March 1921. The present maze is a faithful copy of that which was formerly situated a few yards away, and which, when the school was built, occupied an inconvenient position just outside the scholars' entrance. The old maze was known as the "Mazles." It used to be the custom in the village to have a feast once every three years, and at such times the maze was re-cut.

Comberton, by the way, is almost the next village to Bourn, where, as we have seen, a peculiar pavement maze occupies the floor of the church tower.

In the neighbouring county of Huntingdon we find

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