Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Strange Monuments of An Ancient Land

The land in question is my land, as it happens. Britain, of which dear old England is a large part, is an odd sort of place. In a rather tame landscape it has many monuments more ancient than those of Greece or Rome, but most of the people who live here don't known much about them. These aerial photos of Iron Age hillforts in winter give some idea of the mysteries, hidden deep in pre-historic time, that inspired many writers of weird tales. They also look good. I can imagine Arthur Machen or Algernon Blackwood hiking to the top of any of 'em, and formulating a numinous plot. Well, a plot, anyway.





Anonymous said...

There is something perpetually fascinating about the prehistoric standing stone circles and megaliths that decorate the vast and lonely wilds of the British Isles. It is little wonder that Machen, Sarban, Blackwood, John Buchan, and Nigel Kneale found them to be excellent sources of tales of wonder, terror, and mystery. I am Scottish, and am planning to visit the wonderful Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis, and perhaps Skara Brae on Orkney; and I take refuge in the thought that, when mankind and all traces of his existence are gone, the immemorial Neolithic stones will stand still.

valdemar said...

They are indeed fascinating. A good friend of mine is into archaeology in a big way, and we recently visited various sites in the South West. Silbury Hill is particularly impressive, and certainly would survive any realistic 'end of the world as we know it' scenario, short of the sun exploding.