Saturday, 19 May 2007
The Welsh Borders
We travelled to the other side of England last weekend to spend a couple of days in Glastonbury with our friends (and business partners!), Karin and Sig Lonegren. Ostensibly, we were getting together to work on plans for our 2008 Symposium and Tour, but, as always, our time together felt like a time of fun and renewal. Leaving Glastonbury on Monday, we drove north into the Malvern hills where we met with a lovely and enthusiastic group of people who want a labyrinth installed in their local park. They've done the groundwork and simply wanted us to give a bit of added input. Malvern is an area known for its connections with water, and several fountains feed directly from the hills above. The proposed labyrinth will celebrate Saint Werstan, a local saint who was killed by the Celts in 1095. The picture above is a modern fountain by local artist, Rose Garrard. It is intended to weave together three themes of local significance: Celtic standing stones with spiral markings, Medieval religious history, and Victorial Pre-Raphaelite imagery. The name, Malvhina, comes from a Celtic princess and may be associated with the naming of Mavern itself.
Leaving Malvern, we travelled on to Hereford to see the famous medieval map, the Mappa Mundi, which uses a perfect medieval labyrinth drawing to depict Crete. I've been wanting to see it ever since I first heard about it, so this felt like a bit of a pilgrimage and was certainly a long-awaited treat. From there we drove a few miles further down the road to see the Kilpeck Church with its medieval carvings, including a famous sheela-na-gig -- another quest!
Our drive home through the Cotswolds was, of course, lovely. The recent rains have turned the countryside a lush green, and by the afternoon, the sky was a deep and cloudless blue. We stopped for dinner in Stow-in-the-Wold, remembering our last visit there with Jean and Ed Lutz several years ago. My only regret for the day was that (once again) I got close enough to Wales to see it in the distance, but still haven't actually stepped across its borders!