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Mazes and Labyrinths

46 47 Thirtyseven feet across, this labyrinth once existed on the village green of Boughton, near Northampton. It was one of many casualities of the First World War, destroyed by poor local soldiers probably under instructions from their commanders while practising trenchbuilding in 1917. The Ring seems to have been ancient and was traditionally run every year during the Midsummer Fair, which lasted for three days and three nights, and which had been held there at least from 1353 when it was granted by Edward III. Exhausted ringrunners, wrestlers and revellers would be refreshed and revived from the nearby St. Johns Spring as the festivities peaked on St. Johns Eve, the 23rd June. The design is a delightful variant on the medieval 11coil labyrinth see page 5457 with the outer eight circuits following the standard pattern while the inner three circuits Venus, Mercury and the innermost Moon simply forming an elegant spiral into the Earth. Thus the eleven is naturally divided into three and eight. This reminds one of the highly accurate rule of thumb that if the Earth is sized eleven, then the Moon is sized three. THE SHEpHErDS riNg and a mischievous midsummer
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