Author Archives: East of Elveden

About East of Elveden

Hidden places, secret histories and unsung geography from the east of England and beyond

Callanish

“a place appointed for worship in the time of heathenism” Martin Martin A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland circa 1695 Someone once said that the wonder evoked by historical sites is inversely proportional to the number of eyes … Continue reading

Posted in History, Islands, Scotland, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Shape on the Map — South Lochs, Isle of Lewis

Eleven miles east of the main road, six from the nearest shop (closed on the Sabbath), two miles from the open sea as the raven flies. Glen Gravir – a slender thread of houses stretching up a glen, just four … Continue reading

Posted in Islands, Scotland, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Under the Greenwood Tree – Forest Bathing in the Deep, Deep Woods of Coed Felinrhyd

The Japanese have an expression – shirin-yoku (‘forest bathing’) — which refers to time spent in a wood or forest for purposes of health and relaxation. Scientific field studies have demonstrated that spending even a short time among trees promotes … Continue reading

Posted in Folklore, Travel, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Blyth Spirit

Back in April I took part in a writing workshop in Suffolk led by Ivor Murrell of Suffolk Poetry Society and Melinda Appleby of Waveney & Blyth Arts. The workshop encouraged the participants to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds … Continue reading

Posted in History, Suffolk, Uncategorized, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Sacred Fig

A recent re-reading of Richard Mabey on the ancient and revered Fortingall Yew in Scotland put me in mind of other trees with a well-documented spiritual connection. Such a tree is the sacred fig (Ficus religiosa) or bodhi tree in … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Minster in The Saints

The Saints is a small, loosely defined area of northeast Suffolk just south of the River Waveney and the Norfolk border. Effectively it is a fairly unremarkable patch of arable countryside that contains within it a baker’s dozen of small … Continue reading

Posted in History, Suffolk, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Skellig Michael – The Edge of the World

Today is St Patrick’s Day and March 17 is the supposed date of the 5th-century missionary’s death. Patrick was the forerunner of many early missionaries who came to Irish shores to preach Christianity, the island more receptive to new ideas … Continue reading

Posted in History, Islands, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Ladywood: Two Towers and a Reservoir

It had been many years since I had been to Ladywood. This inner city borough of Birmingham had long been a mythic landscape for me even before I became aware of any sort of Tolkein connection. It was here that … Continue reading

Posted in Cities, History, Midlands, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Hethel Old Thorn

If trees could only speak. If they had some semblance of sentience and memory, and a means of communication, what would they tell us? Ancient trees – or at least those we suspect to be very old – are usually … Continue reading

Posted in Folklore, History, Norfolk, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Memory fields in the city of sock-wearers

The small city of Kruševac in south-central Serbia is probably best known for its fortress and 14th-century church, a fine example of the highly decorative Morava school. This was Prince Lazar’s capital in the late 14th century and it was … Continue reading

Posted in Balkans, Eastern Europe, History, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments