Does London Have A Hidden Map?



My friend Jan sends me texts about sacred London, pointing out that London’s ceremonial sites, of which there are a great number, may have formed a vast geometric design covering over 400 square miles.

It’s said that all Roman roads aligned to this pattern, but that they were already here anyway. The oldest example of a temple laid out to this design is Stonehenge (whose megaliths were raised 3,500 years ago). But London has its own vast version of that circle, built with the stones of our ancient parish churches. This is meant to be a circuit diagram of the forces of creation at work within the land, representing the soul of the city and its spiritual dimensions.

It’s the same idea that drove Peter Ackroyd to speculate about the odd positioning of the Wren churches. And it gets weirder. Camlet Moat in North London’s Trent County Park is supposed to be the real Camelot, and there is apparently some evidence suggesting that the real Camelot once existed at the centre of Enfield Chase, the Royal Hunting Ground of the Plantagenet Kings.

Archaeological digs were supposedly conducted in the 1880s and in 1923, and unearthed signs of a substantial structure with stone walls over five and a half feet thick, a  38ft long drawbridge and a subterranean dungeon. The connection – or rather jump – is then made to a Grail Castle built on a confluence of ley lines.

At this point my brain checks out in a fizzle of quasi-mystical misinformation. I spent a morning reading up on those so-called digs and couldn’t find much scientific evidence at all for their supposed findings. As much as I’d like to believe in some grand mystical plan for London, I find instead that misreadings are common and entirely understandable. The problem is that we really know nothing more about such sites – until, that is, we look at the elevation and geography of the city.

Like Rome, London is ringed by hills which have rivers that feed the Thames. The sun touches the hills first. These become sites of worship. Buildings face certain directions because of sun and water, soil and wind, and remain in place for centuries.

Recently our outgoing mayor signed off on a massive building project at such a site, Mount Pleasant above Farringdon, going with a plan that would deny centuries of shaping buildings to the land and placing great housing blocks laterally over sight lines that had always been followed. History shows us that our streets, which still follow ancient hedgerows and riverbeds, were placed there to fit logically in with land masses and the line of the sun; that’s not mysticism but common sense.

If you’ve ever walked along a street and felt its buildings were the wrong way around somehow, it’s often because they are. After WWII many developers succumbed to the temptation to create grand landscapes breaking with tradition, and many have since reverted to older patterns. Building over old gathering sites does weird things to them; there are rebuilt parts of central London that remain permanently deserted.

Do we conform to a grand-scale map of sacred sites? Most probably. But does this mean anything more than London being built around the need for farms with water and sunlight? I find that a little more doubtful…

9 comments on “Does London Have A Hidden Map?”

  1. Vivienne says:

    It is quite clear from Stonehenge and other ancient works that a lot of careful siting went on in the past. This is hardly surprising: the landscape was emptier and, possibly, sacred – at least valued – so that positioning would be meaningful. I know Ley lines get lumped with Atlantis, but if you read the original book, nowhere does Watkins talk of ley lines having any sort of power, magnetic resonance or anything. The only power he talks about is that of the men who could survey and lay out these ancient tracks. He proposed that the Long Man of Wilmington was one such, with his sticks being surveying aids. It is not unlikely that people needed to find ways to mark a track, which is all that ley lines maybe were. I have, randomly, looked at OS maps and church and tumuli type sites often do seem disproportionately to line up. In a similar way, I believe there are trees in North America that were bent over at 90 degrees at about head height as saplings, so that they would grow that way and serve as pointers for indigenous people in the past.

    Apparently we are short of archaeologists or maybe there would have been more investigation of Camlet Moat.

  2. Steve says:

    I sense a Bryant and May story cooking 🙂

  3. chazza says:

    Or a Nigel Kneale – style chiller of the past rising up against the present…

  4. Peter Dixon says:

    London is sinking into the mud it was built on, so lots of these sites must be 40 ft or so down.

    Reminds me of the York ghost sighting of a troop of Roman soldiers seen passing through a pub cellar but only from the waist up – the original Roman road was 3 feet below.

  5. Jan says:

    Peter you are absolutely right since London ‘s industry began seriously to run down in he 1950s the water table is rising and this in itself must have a profound effect on many of London’s ancient sites. (Apart from the obvious they r sinking fast!)
    Chris has pushed me over to the more extreme end of the earth mysteries sphere here. I have read the work of Chris Street and have,to respect much of what he says on this subject but I myself have serious doubts about the interlinking of ancient sacred sites into myriads of geometric patterns.But at the same time there is a mass of information from the distant past that we can’t at this time assimilate and,appreciate because of the millennia that have passed by.

  6. Jan says:

    Now,I tried,to send,this msg earlier but went off line.

    I have just returned from a weekend in OxFordshire with the Network of Ley hunters so have to declare myself as,part of the lunatic fringe!
    We visited,amongst other places the site of Uffington horse, Uffington castle (iron age hill fort), the modified dragon hill and the wonderful natural amphitheatre in which this is situated. This is truly one of the most spectacular prehistoric sites in the UK and I would strongly recommend a visit to anyone provided they have no walking difficulties.

    The natural bowl of this site complete with ridges found in the landscape formed at the end of the last ice,age ensures sound is enlarged within the site and there are,claims that the blowing stone which is now situated in the front garden of a,cottages in a village some way away was at one time situated here. The sound it must have made at this site must have been tremendous.

    As Vivienne states above this culture of prehistory would seem to have been very sophisticated in many ways. People lived well in their landscape which they changed and modified in ways we have difficulty appreciating

    Well that will do me for the moment I’m,just off to take my medication and nagged a bit of stargazing………

  7. Jan says:

    Snowy that,site is fantastic really interesting

  8. snowy says:


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