The Old Straight Track


Rating: ★★★★★

The Old Straight Track (1927) by Alfred Watkins

My casual interest in ley-lines stems from my teenage years, when I, like others, found it possible to connect ancient sites on OS maps in the way Alfred Watkins describes. I found it worth investigating, and discovered ‘The Old Straight Track’ to be far more coherent in explanation of ley-lines, and related features, than much of what has been written since.

I believe man in prehistoric times to have been more sophisticated and well-travelled than customarily thought, although in consideration of ley-lines as so-called ‘energy conductors’, I rate with alien visitation and black magic, a bogus hindrance to honest investigation.
Alfred Watkins writes with clarity and a love of the Herefordshire countryside he lived in, and thus in reading his book, you have the bonus of almost stepping back to a gentler era. He paints a broad and sweeping picture that is hard to criticize. I cannot see the point of highlighting errors, for the simple reason it is so easy today, with the internet, to compare other sources. He is never dogmatic in any case, often giving alternatives to his preferred explanation. His driving vision was of a network of Neolithic trade routes spreading across Britain and beyond. It is interesting that he sees in British place-names a link with the ancient near-east, particularly Babylon, this fits well with more recent investigators, such as Alan Wilson and Baram Blackett. A worthwhile read.

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