St. Margaret’s church & well, Binsey, Oxfordshire
Midnight, and monks by candlelight
Although less than 2 miles from Oxford’s city centre St. Margaret’s is hidden behind trees and shrubbery at the end of a long and winding country lane. The church is a strange, isolated and moody little building sometimes welcoming and warm while at other times slightly sinister. It is lighted only by oil lamps and candles as it has no electricity supply.
St. Margaret’s was once the living for a priest called Nicholas Breakspear, who became England’s only Pope, Adrian lV, in 1154.
The church is also famous for its holy well and its legendary connection to St. Frideswide, the patron saint of Oxford. I strongly suspect that Frideswide is really the ancient Briton’s goddess and saint, Ffraed.
This was the ‘Treacle Well’ of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
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It was a little after noon when I sauntered into Llanwnda, following the indications of my divining rods.
Very soon the road peeled away and across the grass (where once upon a time, it is said, stood a huge stone circle), ahead of me was the glorious sight and ever more powerful scent of a magnificently blooming may tree. On an ash tree by the hawthorn, hung a slate tile, upon it was painted a cross and the legend, ‘Llanwnda Holy Well’. A really nice simple sign.
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What is a Dragon line?
Dragon lines are natural, nurturing, and sinuous Earth currents that were understood by our ancient forebears, who notated, and scored them (like music) with stones, wood, wells, ponds, and earth works, to preserve and enhance their environments.
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