OLD SARUM LEY, Wiltshire/Hampshire

This is another classic alignment originating with Sir Norman Lockyer, though in this case we have modified the line by extending it to the S and marginally changing its angle. It runs for 181/2 miles NNW-SSE passing through Stonehenge.

The line starts N of Stonehenge at a tumulus (12004409) on Durrington Down, proceeds towards Stonehenge, which is just visible from the barrow, and crosses the Cursus on its way. It misses the sarsen circle at Stonehenge, but crosses ley SW7 on the edge of the earthwork just where the Avenue connects to it.

The ley continues SSE to Old Sarum (13823272) an impressive earthwork enclosure with extremely deep ditches. This is yet another example of an evolved site, having been an Iron Age hill-fort, then a Roman town which in turn was superseded by pagan Saxon occupation until finally, in medieval times, a hill town with a keep and a cathedral occupied the site. The cathedral was founded in the 11th century by St. Osmund. From the Norman ruins of the keep on Old Sarum a view down the ley shows the next two markers, Salisbury Cathedral and Clearbury Ring, in alignment. Early in the 13th century the site of the cathedral was moved, as a result of friction between the clergy and secular authorities, and a lack of water. Legend has it that Bishop Poore had a vision of the Blesses Virgin, who told him to build at a certain place. He didn't know where this was to be until informed by local people.

So Salisbury Cathedral (14312954) came to be founded on its present site. It is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The ley passes marginally to the E of the outstanding 404 foot spire which, according to the late Guy Underwood, marks an exceptionally powerful blind spring. On a number of occasions a fire alarm has resulted from the appearance of dense clouds of flying ants swarming around the spire, attracted like certain other creatures to blind springs which were taken for smoke. The spire also seems to attract the mysterious White Birds of Salisbury Plain - large albatross-like birds, dazzlingly white, which are said to appear whenever a bishop of Salisbury is dying. They were certainly seen in 1911, accurately foretelling the death of the then bishop.

When the cathedral was transferred from Old Sarum, the body of St. Osmund was brought down and placed in a shrine within the new building. There is also a tomb in the cathedral containing the body of the murderer Lord Stourton, who was hanged with a silken noose. For a long time a wire noose hung over the tomb but was removed in 1780. However, its luminous outline could still be seen, even 'within living memory by unimpeachable witnesses'. In 1967, a complete circle of red lights on a UFO was seen to hover one night over Salisbury, the bottom of the object 'on a level with the tip of the cathedral spire'.

Crossing Salisbury, the line goes through a crossroads near Odstock hospital and on to Clearbury Ring (15132443), where it passes through the NW corner of the earthworks. This Iron Age camp is wooded and can be seen for great distances as a clump, but the earthworks themselves are not particularly impressive visually. The area seems to attract UFOs. In 1957 a 'cylindrical object' was seen travelling E-W across the adjacent Odstock Down, and in 1967 a UFO was seen from the A338 about a mile S. of Salisbury.

Michell has observed that the line from Stonehenge to Clearbury is 19,800 (660x30) yards in length, exactly 30 times the length of twin geomantic circles he discovered over Glastonbury. The fact that this ley is virtually at the same angle as the Glastonbury ley (SW6) reinforces this correspondence.

Further to the SSE the ley passes alongside the remains of the 12th century priory at Breamore before running along the W earthworks of Frankenbury Camp (16611525), just over a mile E of Fordingbridge, in Hampshire. This early Iron Age semi-promontory fort, where no finds have yet been made, is easily approached by excellent public footpaths from Godshill. The area around Fordingbridge has a decided tendancy towards strange aerial phenomena. The Daily Express (14 January 1978) reported, for example, the sighting of a huge UFO by Mr. and Mrs. Stovold who, while driving near Fordingbridge, saw a UFO hovering at about 1,000 feet, twinkling with red and blue lights. They watched it for about 10 minutes before it glided away 'across the sky in a horizontal line'. The Guardian of 3 February 1978 reported that farmers around Fordingbridge were complaining of structural damage to greenhouses being caused by inexplicable 'loud and unexpected noises from the sky.' These seemed to occur regularly in the late evening, long after Concorde (that new 'explain-all' following in the tradition of 'Venus') had gone to bed. Coming so soon after the UFO sighting, it is difficult not to look for connections. In 1967 a V-formation of lights was seen near Godshill. The formation transformed itself into a cross-shape (there were a number of such sightings all over the country in 1967 see chapter 4). In 1974 bright lights were seen from Fordingbridge travelling SW to NE over the Wiltshire border. Concentrations of UFO sightings like this, over may years in one area, simply cannot be dismissed. This area, and others, clearly have some quality about them that enables strange aerial phenomena to manifest.

The map-ley can be raced to a tumulus on Ibsley Common, but this is a cartographic error.