The Danebury Ring Landscape Calendar Long Investigation   I had started a long investigation, which is still not fully complete, but which I now  want to share, so that some of the destruction of these important and fascinating  ancient sites can be halted. In recent years more and more grassland has been ploughed  and many of the mounds that have lasted four or five thousand years are being eroded  and lost in a decade. In the space of a short presentation such as this it is not possible  to set out in as much detail as I would like all the elements of the work, on the large  piece of landscape that I have examined, but I can give a sufficient outline of the  essential aspects to identify the significant sites and alignments.  Sun and Moon First of all one needs to know the days which were regarded, and indeed still are, as  significant. They are the Solstices, midsummer and midwinter; the Equinoxes  March  21 and September 21 (equal day and night). These divide the year into four parts. Then  the traditional cross quarter days which subdivide the preceding quarters into eighths:  they are Candlemas /Imbolc February 2, May Day/ Beltane  May 2-5,  Lammas/Lughnassadh August 2-8 and Halloween/Samhain November 2.  It also  appears that the positions of the most northerly and southerly moonrise/set were  indicated.  The bearings of these solar and lunar risings and settings are given in figure 2 and  shown on the sketch map figure 1. The precision of the alignments can be appreciated  better on large scale maps such as the 1:25,000 O.S series. Even more satisfying,  however, is the experience of actually seeing the sun perform “before your very eyes”   when you stand in the light of the dawn watching the warm glow in the sky turn bright  and be pierced by the sharp flash of the first light as the solar orb clears the horizon at  the appointed spot.  Alignments The first thing I noted when I looked at the landscape was that the three long barrows  close to Danebury all lay on significant alignments. The one to the N.E. (335381) was  on the May 5th/ August 8th     sunrise line. In Celtic times these were the festivals of  Beltane and Lammas and had clearly been important for millennia before that. This  line is also extremely interesting because, when extended to the horizon, it crosses  Abra barrow (503473) which lies 13 miles away near Overton.  On the way there it  passes over two tumuli, marked by the OS (350390), north of Charity Down farm and  also an interesting mound (358395) on the ridge along which the road from Longstock  to Goodworth Clatford runs. This mound, which is on an intermediate horizon from  Danebury, lies in the hedge and has been cut away on oneside by the road and on the  other by the ploughing in the field. It remains as a narrow slice of its original form. I  suspect there may be others across the country “lost” in a similar way because the  mounds formed a natural mark through which to run hedges and boundaries. Abra  Barrow, out on the distant horizon, is interesting too because it is not on the top of the  hill, as one might expect, but down on a saddle of land to the south. It looks as if the  deciceive factor in its placement was the need to have it on the horizon as a marker for  the Beltane/Lammas sunrise line from Danebury. There are therefore six, probably  contemporary, ancient mounds in a line pointing to sunrise on a significant date. There  are no other similarly placed mounds in the area. On any reckoning that’s an extremely  interesting alignment and hard to dismiss as coincidental.  © Jon Appleton 2010 under construction Jon Appleton This site brings together a kaleidoscope of ideas derived from 60 years of enquiry: it shares insights into fields as disparate as:- Archaeology, Landscape alignments, Megaliths, Henges, Prehistoric measurement, Astronomy, Mythology, Calendars of the past and Seasonal celebration. Click here to contact Jon