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I have always been fascinated by the idea of ley lines. For those not familiar with the concept, ley lines are supposed lines across the landscape, usually linking ancient sites, such as prehistoric burial mounds and early churches.
Mostly the sites linked by ley lines are raised above the local level and can, therefore, be seen for some distance. Some people claim to be able to use dowsing rods to detect “energy streams” running along ley lines.
One famous ley line crosses London, passing through Charing Cross and down the Mall to Buckingham Palace, then through an impressive number of churches and the centres of two royal parks — Richmond Park and Bushy Park.
Another, perhaps less impressive, line is the Oxton Ley in Nottinghamshire. This line starts at the site of an iron age hill fort, passes roughly north through various churches and finally disappears somewhere in Yorkshire.
In the 1920s, an Englishman, Alfred Watkins, had a flash of inspiration while looking at an Ordnance Survey map of Herefordshire. He realised that many prehistoric sites and ancient churches fell on straight lines that ran for miles across the countryside. Watkins founded a society, the Straight Track Club, whose members investigated ley lines and located many of them, in all parts of Britain. The Straight Track Club ceased to exist in about 1949 as membership had declined.
Interest in ley lines returned in the 1960s, in company with a variety of mystics, UFO hunters and the like. This has tended to give ley hunting rather a bad name.
Could it be that ley lines really do exist, and are indeed prehistoric? Were they simply just that — straight lines between one place and another? In the absence of maps and other written records, oral directions to a traveller would be to follow the line of sight from one place to another.
Or could there be something more to them?