If (and I say if) they have some correlation with magnetic fields, then we may as well scrap that theory for the purposes of this post, because modern life is all about electricity and magnetism and our towns and cities must appear as massive uneven magnetic influences, if there were to be a map of such things. Cities would probably look like a spiderweb built under the influence of caffeine.
(This by the way is from an excellent study done by NASA, recorded here.)
If you are looking for magnetic ley lines for dowsing purposes etc, go to the countryside. Even then you'll hit underground rivers and other independant influences. If you are looking for 'pure' ley lines, the historical record of major crossing points back before we began mucking about with generators, then simply go to the map.
It doesn't help much, to start with, to head for major ancient city centres. St Albans, obviously a big population centre in its day, enough to warrant being taken over 'quick sharpish' by the Romans when they turned up, is still not on the site of the original ley line crossing.
The true junction (and its a lovely major one) is six to twelve miles south of the town centre as we know it today, and slap bang underneath a mental hospital. That also means it was awarded religious significance - priests and monks and holy people were the original caregivers and the sites of most ancient hospitals can be found to have originally been places of worship.
Yes we had straight roads before the Romans, we just didn't lay gravel on them - they knew the construction stuff, but it was a British Princess who married a well-to-do Roman, that taught them how to do it in a straight line. Made his career, that did, and thoroughly improved her standard of living.
Anyhoo. In Harrow and Wealdstone, the weald stone sits beside a church. Dont start on me that the place was probably called Weald's Ton - maybe it was, its just very handy that theres an ancient marker stone right there. It still points in the right direction to display the line it is on and if you play around with a pencil and ruler on the map, the straight line bumps up to other churches etc called 'ley' something, or 'weald' something.
I have a sneaky feeling it is on the main route from Sussex to Bedfordshire, or more specifically Chyngton (now a suburb of Seaford) to Cardington., now a suburb of Bedford, except that it is privately owned by the Whitbreads.
- Both place names have exactly the same root in Old English, 'ton' meaning town, place, home. Chyng's Ton and Carding's Ton belonged to the same family and they were nipping from A to B. I can see the benefit to a warring clan of having a home on the coast, near a river - all the war horses were bred on the Isle of White. The last sign set in the chalk as you approach Seaford Head where there was an ancient settlement, is The White Horse in Alfriston. Congratulations guys, wherever you came from, you found the shop. Basically. Having a business in shipping salt inland would also have made these people pretty well off. Shipping it in by horse, to beat the competition, well, we are talking full and progressive use of modern technology. Bit of a business empire going on. Nothing compared to the Whites of course, who had the military horse training thing sewn up and friends in high places all over the country, plus offspring, plus land. If you dont believe me, check out the Domesday book. Thats way later on, but still enough to work out that one 'brand name' survived and flourished while another one downsized or disappeared.
- Both sites are intersected by ley lines (as in dot-to-dot join the ancient tons, tuns, barges and what will you), that diverge from their central points exactly fifteen degrees apart, same as the numbers on a clock face,with one line going straight between the two sites.
- At the time the mouth of the river Ouse, now in Newhaven, came out where the modern town of Seaford stands. To the other side of the Head is the Cuckmere - only a meander now but once much more. The people living on Seaford Head had control of a promontory, with docking space on three sides, only one side to defend from the land, and all the room they needed for international trade to park up and do business. Okay so people didn't exist in the numbers they do now, but still.
I did this and it is the best proof I came across. The Long Man of Wilmington is on the wrong hill face. I didnt know this at the time and thought I must have messed up, as my projected leyline from Seaford Head at fifteen degrees to other lines I had mapped, went through the usual markers but did not neatly slice between the two poles or sides of the path as held by the Long Man. The Long Man was a blatant sign post - a sign to people several hills away that yes, they were heading in the right direction and nearly there. However my projected line slipped along the next hill face and it would seem that the head of the Man directed people to go off at an angle more towards Eastbourne than Seaford Head.
Going to see the site, I was certain even from a distance (actually distance is best) that there were more lines in the chalk on the neighbouring hill slope than could have been caused by modern walkers traipsing up to see the man at close quarters. There was something too much like a pattern in some of the fainter but broader scars.
I was right! I then found written historical evidence that the Long Man had been recarved as recently as 1710 and that the new version had been created on the slope immediately adjacent to the eroded original. He had been shifted left and made, because of the lay of the land, to point in a slightly different direction. The original Long Man really was a giant advert and sign post, if you like, leading directly to the kingdom/trading post that was Seaford Head.
And that's me sounding far too much like I write boring esoteric books for a living (hoho, I wish), so I am going to shut up. For now.....