Thursday, 22 December 2011

Midwinter at the Arminghall Henge

As feautured in an entry on May 8th called 'Prehistory and Power,' this site at Arminghall, just outside of Norwich, was the location of a prehistoric (around 3000 BC) timber henge. Nothing remains today - the rings that marked the earthworks of the henge are barely perceptible, and the site was only rediscovered in the 1920s by an aircraft flying overhead, the markings clearer from the air. The electricity pylons seem to be the only things of any real physical note these days.

Nevertheless, I made my way here for 5.30am this morning, to mark the moment of the winter solstice. The Arminghall Henge was orientated around this celestial occurance, after all. Yet whilst ancient worshippers were there for the sunrise, and the returning of the light, I was more interested in being present at such a long-forgotten place of light worship in the midst of the longest night. It was my attempt at paying my respects to the darkness, as much as the light. I'm no religious man, but being respectfully aware of our basic utter insignifance against such overwhelming - if deceptively simple - concepts as 'Night' and 'Day' seems fairly common sense, to me.

I took a few pictures. Using a flash would of course have been totally self-defeating, so here are three, blurry and all, using only the pre-existing light available.

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