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Mazes and Labyrinths

10 11 The yew maze at Hatfield House was planted in 1840. Situated to the east of the house, it is said to stand on the site of an earlier design. There are two entrances, one on the north side and one to the south, leading respectively to the west and the east sides of the central enclosure. If you reach the centre you must then decide whether to retrace your steps or cross the enclosure, beginning a new maze to find your way out. In this case you are not retracing your steps, and your memory, like Ariadnes thread, will be of no use. In a way this makes this maze a little like a labyrinth, as the outward journey will require the same amount of effort as the inward. There is a secret way of solving mazes which is well worth knowing, an ancient trick known as the hand on wall method. The technique requires that you simply follow the wall with your left or right hand, groping your way round corners, dead ends, and turning wherever your hand leads you, never taking your hand from the wall. You will eventually find yourself in the centre or at least glued to its wall, and the exit. The hand on wall solution means that although superficially there seem to be dead ends here, on another level there are none. Mazes such as this can in fact be seen as labyrinths once you have the key. HATfiElD HOuSE hand on wall
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