Megalithic service stations?

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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Boreades » 11:16 am

hvered wrote:* I doubt Mr Keen read TME as he passed it to the editor of Merry Meet magazine (Dorset folklore) who calls the book 'complete and utter rubbish' and couldn't work out whether it had been sent as a misguided tribute or a calculated insult.


I wouldn't worry about it, the Merry Meet magazine is in a twylight zone all of its own.
http://www.merrymeetmagazine.co.uk/current.htm
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby hvered » 3:07 pm

spiral wrote:I didn't bother looking it up. I just assume it's "pitch" because it's blinking obvious it's a beacon site....

Pitch is very good! No wonder the priest couldn't find his lost pyx. Yes, it was obviously a beacon site. A useful landmark for anyone approaching the south coast.

Batcombe Hill overlooks a very significant north-south route, south from Weymouth to the mouth of the Severn, a Roman road sez the OS (now the A37).
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby hvered » 3:24 pm

Boreades wrote: I wouldn't worry about it, the Merry Meet magazine is in a twylight zone all of its own.

I don't mind a bad review, one gets used to it! But a folklore magazine might be expected to be less disgruntled by the suggestion that there's a meaning and purpose in the lore their pages lovingly detail.
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Marko » 4:09 pm

hvered wrote: I looked up pyx and found
1. Also called pyx chest the chest in which coins from the British mint are placed to be tested for weight, etc.
2. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) Christianity any receptacle in which the Eucharistic Host is kept

There used to be a wind-up toy called a jack-in-a-box. Not so much a collection box as a trick. The history is elusive but originally the 'jack' was a devil apparently:

The most widely accepted theory about the origin of the jack-in-the-box relates the toy to an English churchman from the 13th century, Sir John Schorne. Folklore credits Sir John with casting a devil into a boot to protect the Buckinghamshire village of North Marston. There are engravings from that era of Sir John holding a boot with a devil peeking out the top, which may have inspired the medieval toy makers.

Sir John was one of the most popular saints in England, up to the Reformation. Devil-in-a-boot is quite a familiar theme in folklore. A pitch box would presumably be a necessary accoutrement of beacon-keepers, hermits and other dubious characters.
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Boreades » 6:43 pm

hvered wrote:
Boreades wrote: I wouldn't worry about it, the Merry Meet magazine is in a twylight zone all of its own.

I don't mind a bad review, one gets used to it! But a folklore magazine might be expected to be less disgruntled by the suggestion that there's a meaning and purpose in the lore their pages lovingly detail.


Maybe it's an example of the Not-Invented-Here syndrome?
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Boreades » 6:55 pm

spiral wrote:
hvered wrote:I looked up pyx and found


I didn't bother looking it up. I just assume it's "pitch" because it's blinking obvious it's a beacon site...


Your instinct is good!

Pitch

[pytche; pytch; pitche; pick; piche; pich; peiche]

In Latin PIX, this is a tenacious resinous substance of a black or black-brown colour, hard when cold, but becoming a thick, semi-viscid liquid when heated. It is obtained either as a residuum from the boiling or distillation of TAR or TURPENTINE or, although rarely, from mineral sources. It was used among other things to stop the seams of ships after caulking and to protect WOOD from moisture. Pitch was therefore an important component of NAVAL STORES. It was also used medicinally to treat coughs, arthritis, and as an ingredient of OINTMENTs.

In the Books of Rates of 1657 and 1660 pitch was classified as of two types 'small band' and 'great band' [Rates (1657)]; [Rates (1660)], the meanings of which are unclear.

OED earliest date of use: a700

Found described as BROKEN, COMMON, ENGLISH, ENGLISH MADE, ENGLISH PLANTATION, of the growth of East Florida Found in units of BAR, BARREL, C, CWT, HUNDRED, LB, QUARTER, STONE, TON of 20 gross HUNDRED in 8 BARREL Found imported from Spain, Sweden by the BARREL, CASK, LAST Found rated by the LAST of 12 BARREL each of 31½ GALLON

See also BARREL PITCH, BURGUNDY PITCH, HIRTHE PITCH, PLANTATION PITCH, STONE PITCH, PIX.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Rates.

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report ... mpid=58842
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Royston » 4:45 pm

hvered wrote:
spiral wrote:I didn't bother looking it up. I just assume it's "pitch" because it's blinking obvious it's a beacon site....

Pitch is very good! No wonder the priest couldn't find his lost pyx. Yes, it was obviously a beacon site. A useful landmark for anyone approaching the south coast.

Pitch is one of the most useful and oldest building materials and, unlike the Dorset chalkland, is easily accessible in desert regions.

Leonard Woolley, the archaeologist who excavated Ur in the 1920's, believed that he had discovered the world's oldest civilisation right up to the day he died. The site that was to bring him fame and a knighthood comprised an unprepossessing mound of rubble in the flat and featureless desert of Southern Iraq. It was surrounded by nothing but sand and scrub as far as the eye could see; only the scattered bricks and other debris told him that it had once been home to a thriving community. The local name for the hill was Tel al-Muqayyar, which translates loosely as The Mound Covered in Pitch - which proved to be an apt if unlovely name. Large areas of the surface were covered in a film of pitch that appeared to have oozed from the joints between what remained of the ancient brickwork. He was to discover that the structure had been built entirely from mud, bitumen and reeds.
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Boreades » 5:01 pm

Somewhere recently I read an article on Romans arriving in some part of the Middle East. IIRC, they were amazed by boatloads of the locals waiting and watching out to sea, for when balls of pitch or tar would float to the surface. Followed by a mad scramble to see who got to it first and laid claim to it. As it was a highly valued material.

Meanwhile, down in deepest Dorset, couldn't locals do something similar there?
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Mick Harper » 5:56 pm

1. Poole Harbour is in deepest Dorset
2. Poole Harbour is (according to me) a Megalithic construction
3. Poole Harbour is the largest 'harbour' in Europe
4. Poole Harbour has Britain's first onshore oil well (on Brownsea Island)
5. On Brownsea Island stands St Michael's Mount.
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby macausland » 4:41 pm

I've just been watching 'Brandy for the Parson' a 1952 film with Kenneth More about a group smuggling brandy and taking to the 'Roman Road' from the west country with barrels attached to some circus ponies.

I don't know where they filmed it but they do come across a little circle of standing stones en route. Possibly from the props department. I don't know that part of the world. But it does seem to tie in, in a lighthearted way, with the themes of ponies and old tracks etc.

Anyone interested in watching it, it's on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMpPApHJOVM.

Well worth whiling an hour away, with the appropriate refreshment. They do seem to pass churches and pubs on the way as well.
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