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Mazes and Labyrinths

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Author Topic: Mazes and Labyrinths  (Read 2486 times)
Kabrina Teppe
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Posts: 1279

« Reply #120 on: April 04, 2009, 11:40:09 pm »

of 1544, "To nych mason for making at gelyan bower a new crose, iijs." In an old hostelry in Mercer Row, Louth, stood for some centuries a boulder of dolerite called the "Blue Stone," which is stated to have formerly occupied the centre of the maze. Trees planted at the maze served as a landmark to ships out at sea.

The Horncastle example occupied a site to the south-west of the town still known as the Julian Bower Close. It has long been effaced by the agriculturist, and numerous coins, fibulae, and other Roman remains which have been turned up on the spot have lent colour to the theory, still maintained in the current county directory, that the maze was a Roman work. The question whether this, or any other turf maze in this country, is a relic of Roman times we will discuss presently.

The maze near Hull was dodecagonal in outline, 40 ft. across, and formed of grass paths 14 in. wide. Its plan was much like that of the Alkborough maze, but the paths were straight instead of curved. It was called "The Walls of Troy." A coloured illustration of it was given in Ackermann's "Repository of Arts" in 18 15.

Although, as we have seen, Lincolnshire furnishes us with records of more of these labyrinths than any other county, there is no conclusive evidence that they were in fact more numerous there than elsewhere. The reason for our comparative wealth of information concerning their existence in that part of the country may be due to the fact that Dr. Edward Trollope, who first made a serious study of these antiquities, and whose paper in the Archaeological Journal for 1858 has been a fount of inspiration to subsequent writers on the subject, was Archdeacon of Stow, afterwards Bishop of Nottingham.

Turf labyrinths were formerly of general occurrence throughout the country, for, in addition to those we have already described, we find remains of them in counties so widely separated as Kent and Cumberland. They are also recorded as having existed in Wales and Scotland.

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