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Mazes and Labyrinths

44 45 This unique and unusual labyrinth once existed at Pimperne in Dorset, near Blandford. It was ploughed up in 1730, but was luckily recorded by the highly energetic antiquarian John Aubrey to whom we also owe the earliest sketches of the 5000year old standing stones at Avebury. Cut into the turf, the extraordinary path was bounded by one foot hight ridges. Writing in 1686, Aubrey states that it was ... much used by the young people on Holydaies and by ye Schoolboies. The essentially triangular design is unique in Great Britain, as is the seemingly random spagettilike nature of the coiling which is reminiscent of early Indian and African labyrinths. The only clue to its function is the tiny heartshaped island at the centre, a reminder of the true purpose of life to any walker. The corners are completed in an anticlockwise direction, starting with the bottomleft. Having reached the centre, and stepping off the path, a further challenge could have presented itself here finding a way out without crossing the path, possibly a useful trick for avoiding gremlins left behind in the coils. piMpErNE the object of the journey
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