I began this study of a possible ritual landscape, popularly known as ley lines, in 1971 whilst working as a land surveyor and cartographer. By 1975 I had become so disillusioned with the standards of published research that I decided to select an area for intensive study in an attempt to determine to my own satisfaction the validity or otherwise of the outwardly preposterous theory that prehistoric people designed their environment, presumably to encompass their religious beliefs. Using my knowledge of the topography and archaeology of the Guildford area to my advantage, I spent countless hours analysing maps, surveying and field walking, computing and writing, and testing ideas and methods in an attempt to establish some working criteria.
After a time, I had accumulated binders of hand-written notes, sketches and computations (this was in the days before home computers) but grew increasingly occupied by the pressures of building my land survey business and raising a young family, and gradually my researches fell by the wayside. In September 2012 I became semi-retired and whilst setting up my home office for part-time consultancy work, came across all my neglected papers. Today the difference between those early years working with drawing film and a protractor, log tables and scale rules is a world away from the amazing capabilities of the modern computer, which has enabled me to work with so much more ease and accuracy.
And so, the decision to be made was how to present this work in a comprehensive and accurate form to promote discussion and further research. Consequently, self-publishing in the form of an e-book would not be suitable, but the idea of a blog format became much more appealing. I am adding to the work at my own pace, using pages for the main data, and adding stuff regularly using posts. This has the attraction of being involved with the readers and gaining feedback comments. Once the posts have been edited and commented on, they may be moved to an appropriate page.
Being well aware of the many problems, such as lack of documentary or archaeological evidence for the intentional alignment of ancient sites, and of the archaeological establishment’s valid criticisms of research in this field, I have given much thought to the standards adopted in this work and hope that it may be seen as a sincere and unbiased effort to throw some light on what has become one of the most controversial fields in fringe studies.
It will be noted that I have not used the term ‘ley line’ (or leyline) in the context of this research. In recent years leys have become associated in people’s minds with earth mysteries, esotericism, and rightly or wrongly, with the so-called ‘lunatic fringe’. The term ley (pronounced ‘lay’) has now become common usage to mean a line of geomagnetic force detectable by dowsing upon which ancient man erected his monuments, possibly with a view to tapping earth energy. How much credence should be given to these theories is not my present concern and is outside the scope of this work.
The renowned archaeologist Aubrey Burl, arch-critic of the ley-cult, has said, ‘There are vestiges of truth surrounded by morasses of nonsense’. (PM, Radio 4, Dec 1979). I like to think that I am discovering a few vestiges of truth and hopefully guarding against becoming bogged down by the morasses of nonsense. But I have been too close to this project to be able to judge how the balance between truth and nonsense has panned out. Much further work needs doing, other areas analysing, research co-ordinated, and, most importantly, the intentionality or otherwise of aligned sites needs resolving if that can ever be possible.
I have tried to include only the evidence that I believe can be acceptable to a reasonable degree of accuracy using the best resources available. I have worked as far as possible to the greatest accuracy using the largest scale Ordnance Survey maps downloaded from the internet. This work is being checked on the ground using the best available hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS). I have tried to use only those findings, which would appear more likely to be designed than coincidental. I aim to put forward only that evidence which I believe can be fairly said to be beyond chance.
Despite intensive surfing of the internet, I can not find any other researchers working to the required accuracy and therefore can draw few analogies with any other related research. The main purpose of this work is to present my collected findings of many years for comment and discussion.
I am setting out this work by devoting a section to each of the alignments in the order I regard of most significance, beginning with a graphic layout; a summary of the line; followed by a description of the various points on the line covering their location; history; physical attributes and positional accuracy.