Winchester

IdleRich

IdleRich
Uffington Church is 800 years old or so. When I was in Canada I remember seeing a sign in Vancouver saying that it was founded in, I dunno, 1810 it was. It suddenly made me aware of the contrast behind a tiny village that can be there for more than a 1000 years without fundamentally changing, and a modern metropolis that can spring up in a fifth of that time without even trying. Something strange there.
Anyway, nowadays (or last time I went back) they started lighting up the church in Uffington from underneath with powerful white lights which made it visible as this kind of spectral presence from miles around. Quite creepy.

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You see the links between pagan and Christian stuff. What's that film? Is it called Borderlands?
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
That's right. According to tradition the church at Winchester was founded by Lucius on the site of a much older temple and as the quotation above explains reverted to paganism (Dagon of all deities) for a substantial amount of time (over a hundred years) before being reclaimed by the Christians. Bones upon bones. Canute, for instance, is buried there.

(In Canada I hear you have the same thing occasionally with churches built on/over sites sacred to the indigenous population)
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Uffington Castle? Also the little hill half-way up White Horse Hill is called Dragon Hill, according to legend the bare bits of grass on top are where drops of the dragon's blood fell during its battle with St George. Although George was a Turkish/Georgian knight who almost certainly never came to England so I dunno how that works.
Shame, because the rest of that story basically adds up.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Well if you don't believe in saints and dragons and primeval battles between avatars of good and evil then what do you believe in?
 

Lichen

New member
Is there anywhere that gives the same buzz? Possibly I'd have to stay somewhere overnight. Wells?
Wells cathedral is stunning - chained library and all.
Also the ruined bishops palace there is cool.
But the countryside it sits in is oddly non-present, even though it must be a tenth the size of Winchester, and the mendip hills above it are impressive.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Interesting, in this talk of 'presence', to think about how it chimes with nomos' book. That what we are registering is real (and I believe it is) and has a physiological component(though not necessarily limited to that dimension depending on how rigourously materialist you want to be) which works in relationship with memory/imagination/cultural references and association blocks.

The process of sensitising yourself to these various fluctuating, changing, living presences of place is either difficult and delicate anf uncertain or, bosh a load of drugs, easy and immediate. There are two paths you can take, in other words
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
There's all sorts of obvious factors like noise and how much space the eye has (always a relief to get out of London and let the eye travel across a much wider horizon) the topographical features, the presence of water, the rock beneath the feet.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
This issue of the claustrophobic eye is one of the reasons the Thames is so important to London; you emerge from a scrum of buildings and suddenly yhe eye has a range to roam. All that lovely empty space with the water moving beneath it.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
There may well have been but I struggle to believe that the twelve year old Matty Bramwell had somehow got there from Wantage in the middle of the night and was spying on them from behind a tree and that casts doubt on his exciting account of beautiful naked women and human sacrifice.
This is basically Belbury Poly's entire schtick in one sentence, isn't it?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
There's all sorts of obvious factors like noise and how much space the eye has (always a relief to get out of London and let the eye travel across a much wider horizon) the topographical features, the presence of water, the rock beneath the feet.
This is very true. London is very, not bad, for this, but it's a good example of a city where everything is closed in and up close. No sense of space. Some cities are different or have more ways to get above it. My friend used to live on the 10th floor in Bow and cos London is so low (or used to be) that number of floors gains you an incredible view of the whole place - but that just emphasises how close-in life is during the majority of time in London - unless you work in the super tall office, but again that's respite from how things are, it's not how things are.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Pendle Hill is an interesting one, what with the history of witchcraft
We used to drive past that going up north as kids and I know dad would allude to that but I don't know the details at all.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
One of the reasons I like living in Greenwich is being able to climb out of the river basin and look out over the whole thing. That and being so close to the Thames. I like it as it widens out and enters the old dock zones here in the east.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
Is there anywhere that gives the same buzz? Possibly I'd have to stay somewhere overnight. Wells?
Ely? Top marks for sense of space, particularly if you can get up the towers of the cathedral. There's not much to the town, but approaching across the fens - particularly on foot or by bike, but the train is also acceptable - is fairly special. It's got a reasonably interesting history, too, all eels and laudanum and revolutions.

Canterbury is very chocolate box but fundamentally brain deadening. I'm not sure why this is.
 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
Hastings, Rye & especially Lewes are all worth a visit on these grounds.

Ely feels like an outpost or redoubt, which if course it was immediately after the Norman invasion. Ship of the Fens.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Hastings, Rye & especially Lewes are all worth a visit on these grounds.
Ely feels like an outpost or redoubt, which if course it was immediately after the Norman invasion. Ship of the Fens.
Lewes is where they do that big pagan bonfire/fireworks thing right? Got some friends who go there every year and absolutely love it.
I went on holiday once with an ex where we rented an old stables between Hastings and Rye and drove to one or the other pretty much every day. Totally contrasting, Hastings is this kinda brash, cheap version of Brighton with loads of arcade machines and chippies like Blackpool or something and loads of heroin and fights. But it also has this hipster element with people moving from London (the people who created Green and Blacks chocolate sold up and set up a health centre or something there). I like it a lot there - it's lively and dirty but doesn't have all those hippies and stuff like Brighton. And it's got a funicular which I always love. Rye is like a beautiful morgue, posh restaurants and chocolate box streets. It sounds like I'm criticising and I guess I am but if you have the ability to move effortlessly between Rye and Hastings then you have everything you could want in a Kent town available to you (is it Kent?).
Speaking of funiculars I've got a soft spot for Folkestone (which has a massive one powered by rainwater). I love it there, sure you've got the triennial and stuff and that draws people to the town but out of season it's really weird. Think I mentioned before but one time wanted to get away from London and could only afford going there at a totally inappropriate time, it got dark at 3pm and the streets were empty and foggy and ghostly. There are mad roads with every house built differently and huge faded hotels where Prince George used to stay but now no-one like that would be seen dead anywhere near. If you're high enough you can see France or Dungeness and other places and you do get the sense of position on the edge of the country and in the sea - which has a power all of its own of course. And you can walk down to the next town (I forget the name) where HG Wells used to sit on the beach and write. It is magical there in a strange and dark way.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I had a lovely long weekend in Rye at the start of summer a few years ago - agreed, beautiful but I'm not sure I'd want to live there.

Villages and small towns like the ones being described here are ten a penny in Devon where I've lived for the last 2.5 years... and then there's Newton Abbot, car-crime capital of the southwest! YEAH BOYEEE!!!!
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Places like Salcombe or Brixham are much nicer than their equivalents in Kent or Suffolk. But what all these places lack, for all their charms, is that sense of power nexus. That electricity. Avebury has it of course but with Winchester that continues past the prehistoric right through the medieval and beyond. Westminster has that and the square mile even more so. Occult electricity tangible in the air.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Places like Salcombe or Brixham are much nicer than their equivalents in Kent or Suffolk.
Over the lunchtime card came, one of my colleagues said he'd been playing cards with Fat Ken from Totnes Conservative Club last night. I said I'd never met this person but instantly knew with *exact* certainty what he, Fat Ken from Totnes Conservative Club, looked like.
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Ken Clarke.

Can get to Ely in just over an hour. Might try that next.
 
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