Monday, 11 June 2007

Mavisbank Earthwork circle centre

This earthmound is just behind Mavisbank House, a Palladian villa, destroyed by fire back in the 1970's. It was built by Sir John Clerk of Penicuik. The architect was William Adam, father of Robert, who is perhaps better known.

The earthwork was found to lie on the side of the inner pentagon, which has Roslin Chapel in the south-east corner, some 1.5 miles south of Mavisbank, upstream on the steep slope of the River North Esk. Restore Mavisbank link:

The history of the earthmound is unknown, to me, at present, but I recall a mention of some discussion between Clerk and Adam concerning some ancient feature behind the house, and this circular mound is directly behind the house. Clerk was an 'Antiquarian', and there is an extant letter of his addressed to the London Society of Antiquarians concerning a Roman Temple which was destroyed to make way for the building of the Carron Ironworks near Falkirk.

A photo of mine of the derelict house from the west:

Geometrically it is the Earthmound which is of particular interest at this time. It was found that a radius very close to the radius of churches at Rennes Le chateau described by Henry Lincoln. In Scottish measure it was found to be 5000 ells, one Scottish ell being 37 inches. A section on the Scottish Measure system shall be included later.

This drawing was done by hand, pencil on paper, but is inverted here cause I like it like that. I shall be describing this all more fully later, but already it can be seen how comnplex it all quickly becomes. There are a few specific points which allow the systems to be inferred. The line which defines the orientation is from Allermuir Hill in the Pentland Hills to the west, to the Camp Ridge, above Mayfield to the east. Newtongrange Church, defines the radius of 5000 ells. Henry Lincoln defines the radius he found as 2miles 1618 yards, which is equivalent to 4999.135 ells, a correlation of 99.983%. There is a lot to discuss about different measure systems, which gets very involved, and an attempt will be made to cover this topic at a later date. Just for starters the work of Professor A Thom, and more recent works by Knight, Lomas, and Butler. See the list of books for further info, for now.

What I want to do is to take this one stage further and show the rectilinear grid which results from the two systems already mentioned. The Pentagonal system centred on Galachlaw, and the hexagonal centred on the Mavisbank Earthwork.

This drawing was constructed in Paint, the best I had on my old clapped out computer when I was doing the calculations. It should be pointed out that the accuracy of the drawing is not as good as the calculations. I shall describe the method I developed using O.S. grid references, and simple trigonometry. The references were read accurately to ten metres, and then refined to one metre by calculation from print-outs of the relevant O.S. grid squares.

There are a few other lines and extensions on the drawing, that shall be discussed later. It all gets a lot more complex, but there are are other points to make prior to showing this.

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