The Old Straight Track

The second song from the upcoming Cunning Folk album: Ritual Land, Uncommon Ground is called The Old Straight Track. Here is a blog about what inspired it.

I grew up in East Dorset close to Cranborne Chase, a large area of countryside the Norman kings kept clear of habitation to make room for hunting ground. There is plenty of evidence of our ancestors left in the local landscape. 9

There is Badbury Rings, an iron age hill fort reputed in local legend to be the final resting place of King Arthur.

10Knowlton Church, a Norman ruin within a henge complex.
There is Bokerley Dyke, a Saxon defensive ditch running for miles through the countryside & there are countless round barrow tumuli in the corn & barley fields. You can literally see where our ancestors made their mark. I grew up trying to see if there are connections between places, significances.13

A Herefordshire man by the name of Alfred Watkins was a pioneer of trying to make connections between old places on the landscape. He thought the locations of ancient monuments & settlements were very significant. He thought that they were aligned.

15He wrote a book in 1925 called “The Old Straight Track” on the subject. He called these alignments, “Ley Lines”.

Alfred Watkins’ ideas are controversial & influential. They are not taken seriously by orthodox archaeologists but have inspired ley hunters & artists.

17The writer Alan Garner in his book  “The Moon Of Gomrath” portrays the Old Straight Track appearing at moonrise near Alderley Edge.

IMG_1901.JPGI am fascinated by the concept of the ley line; the connection between old places over distance & time. The idea of old, wild magic transmitted through the land between standing stones & hills, along ancient tracks from forgotten settlements to barrows & cursi. Maybe we cross these lines every day.

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