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Tip o' the Week #61 - Confession o' the Decade


Dear [firstname]

As a geomancer, I have always been interested in the microcosm rather than the macrocosm - one single sacred space or megalithic complex rather than how sites relate with each other across the landscape over long distances; however, there is one particular macrocosmic relationship that I have been telling people about for years.  Perhaps you have heard about John Michell's Michael Line (which dowser Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst made famous in their The Sun and the Serpent). It is a geomantic corridor (sometimes up to ten miles wide) that runs from St. Michael's Mount in southwestern Cornwall up through many Michael churches including Glastonbury Tor to the Northeastern coast hitting the North Sea on the Norfolk/Suffolk border at St. Margaret's Church at Hopton on Sea.  But for a while, it turns from a geomantic corridor into a quite exact ley when about half way up, it goes through Burrow Mump to Glastonbury Tor and on to hit the Henge at Avebury a  glancing blow on its way up to the Northeast. 

Tor Avebury

The Michael Line runs toward us through the arched doors of the Michael Tower on the Tor,
and hits the Avebury henge about at the trees in the background.

But I have suspected that this was the hypotenuse of a landscape right triangle and have long spread the mythtory that the major axis of the Glastonbury Abbey was on the same Latitude as the mound at Stonehenge that marks the Winter Solstice Sunset. and that Stonehenge and Avebury are on the same Longitude.

First, let's talk about the Abbey.  It actually has two major axes.You can see this when you look at this Googled shot:

Googled Glastonbury Abbey
Note how the Mary Chapel on the left

is not in exact alignment with the rest of the Abbey.

When you stand in the centre of the bridge of the Mary Chapel and line yourself up with the peaks of the two gothic arches in the Galilee, you are looking not at Arthur's tomb and the High Altar in the choir, but rather much nearer to the northern arch that marks the beginning of the choir.

Major axis of Mary Chapel  Major axis of the Abbey  Major axis of the Abbey
On the left, the pendulum string is aligned with the peak of the Gothic arch in the Galilee,
but not with not the centre of the two arches of the choir and the High Altar in the background.
In the centre picture, you see the two arches of the Choir split evenly.
(More clearly in the picture on the right)

The major axis of the Mary Chapel is three degrees North of the major axis of the rest of the Abbey.  It is important to note that Glastonbury is not the only major ecclesiastical structure that has more than one major axis, but as far as I can determine, neither of the two is due East/West, and certainly does not align with either Stonehenge itself or the major barrow to the Southwest that marks the Winter Solstice Sunset.

Winter Solstice Sunset at Stonehenge  The mound that marks this sunset
To the left, the Winter Solstice Sunset at Stonehenge viewed from the Heel Stone. 
To the right, the great mound to the Southwest of Stonehenge across the A 303 that marks this Sunset.

The other "fact" I have been telling folks is that Stonehenge is due South of Avebury.  I have said in the past that these  three alignments make a nice ninety degree right triangle with the hypotenuse being the Michael line. 

Right Triangle
The Right Triangle of Glastonbury, Stonehenge and Avebury - NOT!

But here is the major and huge embarrassment, and thus my "Confession o' the Decade."  I have recently checked the Ordinance Survey Maps of Glastonbury, Stonehenge and Avebury.  


The Abbey and Stonehenge are not even close to being on the same latitude (read: due East/West of each other)!!  Their Latitudes should be exactly the same.  (This may sound stupid to some, but the way I help newbies to remember the difference between Latitude and Longitude is that "Latitude is flatitude.")

As near as I can figure it:

The Abbey is at


Stonehenge is at    51°10'40"N
The mound at Stonehenge
(south of the A303) that marks
the Winter Solstice Sunset is at




(°)=degree, (')=minute, (")=second

Each minute (') of latitude here is equal to about .75 of a mile. If Stonehenge (or its Winter Solstice Mound) was due East of the Glastonbury Abbey, they would be on the same degree, minute and second of Latitude as eachother. As you can see, this is not the case. The latitude of the Glastonbury Abbey is almost two miles south of the Winter Solstice Mound at Stonehenge (whichis a bit South of the Henge itself!!


Again, near as I can figure it:
Avebury is at    1°51'20"±
Stonehenge is at    1°49'30"±


If Stonehenge (or its Winter Solstice Mound) was due South of Avebury, they would be on the same degree, minute and second of Longitude as eachother. Again, as you can see, this is not the case. The Longitude of the two sites is not the same.  The Longitude of Stonehenge about 1.1 miles East of Avebury.

So, except for the Michael Line between the Tor and Avebury which seems to be right on, the other two alignments are not even close!!  Humble Pie.  Eating.  Eating.

I can offer no explanation for this misteak other than to lean on my dyslexic crutch, and it certainly has taught me to stick to microcosmic single sites and to leave the macrocosmic landscape geometry to others. 

Sig's sig
Sig Lonegren
9 Bove Town
Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8JE
+44 (0)1458 835 818