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August 2002 - Picklebury Hill

Here are a few words about my first meeting with the people in the Tamar dowsers group.  It couldn't come around quick enough, I was really looking forward to meeting the dowsers and going to my first dowsing site ever. 

Having been dowsing (although not seriously) for 3-4 years I have been reading and collecting dowsing related books for 2 years and the interest never wanes. 

 This was real field work.  Boyton just above Launceston is a quiet rural village, the site was an iron age fort within a wooded area and built on a slight incline.  Having met the members of the group we walked up to the site, at this point I must confess, if in the future we have to walk through any fields which contain cows then I will find an alternative route! Weird and unusual but I can't stand our four hoofed friends - must have been a past life or something! 

The trees were mainly scrub oak, common on previously occupied land, the dimensions to the site were unusual as instead of the usual circular fortified ditch and rampart the external shape appeared oval. 

The dowsers all shot off in different directions pendulums and rods cutting swathes like machetes through the undergrowth.  I then decided to concentrate on the entrance to the fort.  I figured that all things in the fort while under occupation would either enter or exit this area, and from this point most dimensions and information maybe gleaned. 

The results are as follows, the entrance had gates large enough for a wide cart approximately 3 mtrs.(note-must take tape measure), it was hinged on either side for accessibility, and stood 2.75mtrs high.  About 9 mtrs towards the centre of the fort there was a large circular building in which up to 10 people lived.  I never located the position of the other 13 buildings I dowsed, some of which were storage some dwellings. 

The first time the entrance track was used was around 1900 yrs ago, about the time Hadrian started his wall.  The settlement’s water supply was 59 mtrs away down the hill in a south/east direction.  On average, the population was 38-39 persons. 

We all met up again and walked down to the lower footpath.  At the bottom of the hill we discovered an unusual square well shape cut-out in the rock.  It was about 4mtrs square and 6mtrs deep.  Many ideas were batted about as to its use, but I know of another site just above Truro that is almost identical with a fort above the square cut-out and in turn above a stream.  I am awaiting an answer as to its use. 

After a few of the dowsers left, the rest of us went to a location a few miles away at Sitcot, near St Giles on the Heath.  It was a cross roads with a wooded area around the road edges.  The first place we dowsed was interesting in that we all felt a little uneasy.  
I'm not sure, but we dowsed a lot of dead people, and unsettled spiritual energies, possibly unconsecrated ground with a gallows and burials of witches.  We left fairly quickly. 

Across the road, we checked another area which had very strong readings especially over a geopathic stress line (another first for me). A couple of buildings were surveyed but they dated from different time periods.  We came up with monasteries, leprosy, mad monks and incarceration - but if you had felt the negative power of that stress line, you would understand why. 

We all said goodbye until the next time.  My first impressions?  Brilliant, I was not disappointed, everyone was very kind and open-minded, and the wealth of knowledge was equal to any Archaeologist or Historian.

Richard Harwood
Tamar Dowsers
August 2002


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