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The mysterious Ley Lines / Dragon Lines

Oxford Concise Dictionary -The supposed straight line of prehistoric track usually between Hilltops, Churches, Temples, Stone Circles, Burial Sites, Spiritual Locations Druids.

A belief that Ley lines (sometimes referred to as Dragon Lines) exist has been held through the centuries and carry some form of the earths energies and also responsible for certain paranormal activities.

It has been proved that this belief has had an effect on some aspects of life within the British Isles.

There is a theory that Birds, Fish and animals use the lines as a compass, magnetite is in the brain of humans and animals and influence the sense of direction.

It has probably been the reason as to why many of our ancient monuments are situated where they are.

In 1921 a certain Alfred Watkins read a paper to the Woolhope Club in Herefordshire, he expounded his theory on Early British track ways, moats, mounds, camps and historic sites.

He spoke about a new concept which he described as the old straight track ie. The Ley Line , he explained that these were in his belief prehistoric trading routes based on straight lines between a variety of sighting points.

He was the author of a number of books on the subject, The Ley Hunters Manual, Early British Track ways, Archaic Track ways around Cambridge and The Old Straight Track (still in print).

It is significant that many of the Ley Lines are believed to pass through locations where there have been strange happenings that are described as being paranormal.

In the counties of Worcestershire and the Cotswolds there seems to be a wealth of these sites , some examples of these are:-

The 16 mile Ley Line from Pershore to Winchcombe

Ley Line connecting Pershore to Winchcombe

  • A funeral path between the village of Wick and Pershore Abbey is said to be haunted by a Monk.

  • At nearby village of Elmley Castle a funeral path that passed at the rear of the 18th. century Old Mill Inn (now closed), two ghosts are reputed to visit here, one of a child said to have drowned in the mill pond.

  • These are in an area through which Ley Lines have been described as "passing through", from here the same line is believed to go to Bredon Hill, the site of an Iron age hill fort, through the village of Beckford with its 17th cent church of St Mary and continues on through the village of Little Washbourne (which means stream in swamp). The reason for only one burial at the 12th cent. church of St Mary was due to the ground being waterlogged with its ghost at the 15th Cent. Hob Nails Inn (origins in 13th cent) thought to be that of a mischievous little boy. The Inn was once the manor house and the home of Sir Roger De Washbourne born 1227 died 1299.

  • There were unexplained noises, bumps, doors closing and the appearance of a man dressed in breeches and a felt hat at nearby Vine cottage (now demolished).

  • The line then converges on Winchcombe in Gloucestershire with other ley lines. Winchcombe town has been described as being a very haunted place, with tales of monks appearing and disappearing in the area where once stood a Monastery.

  • Nearby Sudeley Castle has a reputation of being visited by supernatural spirits.

  • Just outside Winchcombe is Belas knapp, this ancient burial mound, was in medieval times thought to house Fairies and nowadays thought, by some, to be haunted.

The 3.5 mile long Ley Line from Saintbury Cross to Wells Farm

3.5 mile Ley Line connecting Saintbury Cross to Wells Farm

  • A ley line about 3.5 miles long runs from the crossroads and cross (Saintbury Cross) near the Cotswolds village of Weston Subedge (it was here that coffins were rested before making the final journey to the church) to the village of Saintbury. The line runs through Saintbury church (St. Nicholas) and through prehistoric mounds and pagan burial grounds.

  • Nearby, Seven Wells Farm was reputed to be a meeting place of witches.

  • The nearby villages of Stanton and Condicote are associated with many stories of haunting and ghostly happenings, they are also thought to be on a ley line.

The 16 mile long Ley Line from Rollright Stones to Chipping Warden in Northamptonshire

The 16 mile long Ley Line from the Rollright Stones to Chipping Warden

  • A ley line that extends for more than 16 miles from the Rollright Stones, a stone circle whose history goes back more than some 3800years has many stories of the supernatural told about it.

    It is said that the magnetic energies within the circle differ from those immediately outside it and that this is the reason for many of the legends that have arisen about Rollright, amongst these is the belief that the stones cannot be counted and that if the stones are moved that ill fortune would fall upon the persons who moved them.

  • From Rollright, the ley passes through Madmarston Hill Camp, this was a hill fort that has evidence of late Roman activity it then goes on through Castle Bank Camp with its Iron age origins then to Wroxton All Saints Church, this 13th century church contains the tomb of Lord North one time Prime Minister.

  • Proceeding further the ley goes through Cropredy Bridge a site of a battle during the civil war 1644.

  • It then moves on to an Earthwork situated at Chipping Warden, this dates back to the Iron age and is known as Arbury Camp.

  • Rollright stones in Oxfordshire, this prehistoric stone circle is 105 feet in diameter and has been estimated to be 1800 BC and has long had the reputation of mystical happenings , it is said that the stones were once soldiers and were turned into stone and anyone attempting to move the stones would suffer severe misfortune. It is also claimed that the stones are impossible to count. Can be reached via A34 and B Road at Great Rollright.

  • Avebury in Wiltshire
    At Silbury Hill visitors have the opportunity of seeing the largest man-made mound in Europe, this important prehistoric site is not a burial mound and its purpose remains a mystery, a viewing area is situated 1 mile west of West Kennet on the A4.
    The Avebury Stone Circle is situated off the A4 road and is on the Northbound A4361 towards Wroughton, this important site is older than Stonehenge and dates back some 5000 years. It is the largest of its type in Europe. Visitors are able to wander round the site.

  • Woodhenge and Stonehenge have attracted Druids with their ancient ceremonies through the centuries and all of these places are considered to be on Leys.

  • Prestbury village, near Cheltenham, is considered to be one of the country’s most haunted places and tales are told of mysterious horsemen galloping through the village in the middle of the night.

  • Travelling south of these villages is Woodchester Mansion, this large building was abandoned partway through its construction, loud noises emit from the mansion just as if parties are underway It is said that a number of murders were committed here.

  • Wotton-under-Edge, in the southern Cotswolds, is also said to be host to the paranormal. At the Ram Inn many unexplained happenings occur, so much so that it has been known that visitors will not stop overnight. The Inn is now closed but the owner still enjoys living there with his ghostly companions.

  • Evesham is reputed to have a number of Ley Lines running through the town, passing by the Abbey Bell Tower where apparitions have been known to show themselves.
    It has been claimed that Lady Godiva of Coventry was buried here although there is no documented evidence of this.

Alfred Watkins

Born in Hereford on 27th January 1855 he was a man of many accomplishments, the son of Charles and Ann Watkins he was the 3rd child of 10 children , he was a highly skilled photographer and experimented in the development in photography ,he became a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society at the age of 55 and was awarded the Society’s 11th progress medal for his research work.

He was deeply involved in archaeology and has been acclaimed as an Antiquarian. His involvement in archaeological sites probably led to his interest in Dragon / Ley lines.

It was in 1921 that he expounded his theories to the Woolhope Club at Woolhope Herefordshire. Here he explained about the old straight tracks, and how they connected up between a variety of sighting points - Early British Track ways, Iron age Hill Forts and Encampments, Moats, Corpse routes and prehistoric trading routes such as Salt Ways.

His belief in his theories was so profound that he published a number of books on the subject, these included the Ley Hunters Manual, Early British Trackways, Archaic Trackways around Cambridge and The Old Straight Track the latter still in print.

His early work has provided the basis for many other authors who now have continued to research the theory of Ley Lines and the Straight Track.

Books to look for include Ley Lines by Danny Sullivan and Ley Lines and Earth Energies by David R.Cowan / Chris Arnold/ David Hatcher Childress. Paul Devereux author, researcher and broadcaster has delved deeply into the earths mysteries and in his work he offers many explanations relating to these. He can be contacted via Paul@pauldevereux.co.uk.

The British Society of Dowsers are a group who are interested in the earths energies and study ancient secular sites they can be contacted by telephone 01684 576969 or email info@britishdowsers.org.

Sir Roger de Washbourne

The year was 1227. Henry III was King of England. It was the time of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Richard the Lionheart had died less than 20 years before.

Roger de Washbourne (1227-1299) was born in Little Washbourne, Gloucestershire. The first names of his forbears are lost in antiquity, but what is known is that the original founder of the Washbourne line was knighted on the battlefield by William the Conqueror in 1066 and endowed with the lands of the Little Washbourne and Great Washbourne in the county of Gloucestershire. Little Washbourne (sometimes called Knight’s Washbourne).

They also had lands and lived in the Worcestershire towns of Wichenford (near Worcester), Bengeworth at Evesham and Stanford-on-Teme (near Stourport-on-Severn).

Sir Roger married Joan in about 1258. They had one child, John, who was born about 1259 in Little Washbourne. He was known during his father’s life as John de Dufford, taken from the name of his estate. After his father’s death in 1299, he became known as John de Washbourne (1259-1319).

He married Isabella Cassey about 1290. They had one son whom they named John, who married and in due course had a son named Peter, who had two sons named John and William.

Numerous Johns and Williams followed after that up to a John who was born on July 2, 1597 and a William who was born on November 9, 1601. Both were born in Bengeworth at Evesham, Worcestershire.

Researchers consider that all the American Washburns descended from these two.

Both married in Bengeworth and raised families there, but this was a time of great exploration and immigration to the new world of America and both emigrated to the Americas in the 1630’s.

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Ley Lines in the Cotswolds