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The Sweet Track (Megalithic)
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Mick Harper wrote:
Drake Island is in the news. This is a tiny islet in Plymouth Sound and is held to be a place of mystery [fill in stories about pirates, smugglers and Frenchies, including Spanish Frenchies and Nazi Frenchies]. Nobody is interested in the real mystery

The island was initially known as St Michael's -- named after a twelfth century chapel built there

Stop me if you've heard this one before but the island is virtually uninhabitable and the chances of a chapel having to be built on it in the twelfth century is close to nil. Megalithically, on the other hand.....


Incoming, slight feeling of deja vu ....

The orthodozy is well-established
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake%27s_Island

Uncurious folk, however, would not learn from that that the Island didn't use to be an island. There is still a causeway just below low tide water level on the west side of the island, towards Mount Edgecombe. The gap across that is known as The Bridge, usually reckoned only suitable for small or shallow-draft craft. Even then, the tidal surge across there is quite strong.

Just about visible in Google Maps satellite view:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/50%C2%B021'20.0%22N+4%C2%B009'13.0%22W/@50.3507451,-4.1550279,1658m/data
=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d50.355556!4d-4.153611?hl=en

Perhaps it was lost as walkable ground around the same time as "The Great Drowning" of the Scilly Island (to make the Scilly Isles) and the drowning of the forests around St.Michael's Mount in Cornwall (just down the road).

About a thousand years ago perhaps?
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Mick Harper
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On the way, we learnt that many old streets in Bordeaux and Porto are lined, not with gold, but with bricks from Britain. Oh and the brick warehouses as well. After the initial surprise, it's not a surprise as (of course) many of the family empires were based in Ireland and Britain, so sending & selling something in exchange for the booze was a win-win.

I find this difficult to believe. Not only the sea-transport of bricks but getting bricks from the (mainly inland) brickfields to the ports. It makes no sense as a cargo, but plenty as ballast cf our granite theories on the St Malo run. There is, I suppose, a small possibility that the Brits were getting bricks done locally using British pattern books to feel at home. And to make the natives feel not at home, if you get my British drift.
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Mick Harper
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I got all my information from that Wiki page since I had not even heard of Drake's Island, to Hatty's withering scorn (apparently we have discussed it at length over the years but she's a practised liar so I took no notice).

There is still a causeway just below low tide water level on the west side of the island

Clinches it as Megalithic, clinches everyone else's careful ignoral. "Is it time for chapel?" "Yes, but the tide's in."
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Boreades


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Mick Harper wrote:
I find this difficult to believe. Not only the sea-transport of bricks but getting bricks from the (mainly inland) brickfields to the ports.


Which part do you find difficult to believe?

a) Even now, it's still cheaper to ship a container 8000 miles (or so) from (say) China than it is to move it the last 50 miles inland from whatever port it arrives at.

b) If you look closely at many of the old ports on the old Ordnance Survey maps from the 1800s, it's more usual than not to find one or more brickworks very close to the port. Which (in my jolly sailor's nautical almanac) leads me to the presumption that this was deliberate, so that bricks could more easily be moved by sea.

Recommended online viewing : places like NLS.
e.g. South Hams Brick Works
https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=16&lat=50.33510&lon=-4.04554&layers=6&b=1
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Boreades


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Mick Harper wrote:
I got all my information from that Wiki page since I had not even heard of Drake's Island, to Hatty's withering scorn (apparently we have discussed it at length over the years but she's a practiced liar so I took no notice).
There is still a causeway just below low tide water level on the west side of the island

Clinches it as Megalithic, clinches everyone else's careful ignoral. "Is it time for chapel?" "Yes, but the tide's in."


We did witter about Drake himself a few times over on TME. For once, the search facility is working.
e.g.
Megalithic shipping and trade routes
http://www.themegalithicempire.com/forum/new/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1697&p=7127&hilit=Drake&sid=29367bf70661d8e8e01c4c21386a861c#p7127

Hatty was on the ball with the Rolls d'Oleron navigation laws.
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Mick Harper
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I am not disputing that there are brickworks near ports, I am not disputing that bricks aren't transported by sea, I am not disputing that the last fifty miles are different from the first several thousand miles, I am disputing that in the era of British port magnates bricks are the most obvious cargo of choice on the Porto run. This is worth disputing because, apart from missing our daily disputes (Chad's dog has been no substitute) this is a matter of valuable in situ evidence.

As we saw with granite, return cargoes of such apparently uneconomic material points to two things: a bulk valuable cargo must be going the other way (tin and copper in Megalithic times) and a lack of alternatives coming back. Port is undoubtedly a valuable bulk cargo so why not, say, coal coming the other way? Because it is a dirty cargo perhaps? Textiles? Dunno.

But, if you are forced to return in ballast, and bricks were found to be best, then you would build brickworks near the port port (see what I did there, technically it's called an early morning joke). After all we have provisionally decided that the Megalithic south coast ports came about because of saltworks and tinworks and I use the existence of the otherwise inexplicable Chausey and whatsit islands on the St Malo run as evidence of the St Malo trade, so it is worth getting right.

And if you want to understand the modern significance of all this, for centuries the Europeans found that nobody out east wanted anything European except silver and the Europeans were forced to invent the Industrial Revolution to address the problem. Actually I just thought of that so the idea may have some wrinkles. Like us, worrying about what had become of you. Hatty said you were in prison.
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Boreades


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Mick Harper wrote:
Hatty said you were in prison.


M'Lady Boreades gave me time off for good behaviour.

As for the brickworks, here's a whole load of examples, on the Isle of Purbeck. As mentioned on TME?

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=14&lat=50.68116&lon=-2.05360&layers=6&b=1

If I mention Poole Harbour and the submerged harbours, does a stray brick ring a proverbial bell? Not forgetting the Kimmeridge Bay shale, which has been a source of tar, coal and oil for many centuries.

https://philipstrange.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/the-surprising-story-of-oil-in-dorset/
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Chad


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(Chad's dog has been no substitute)

She was beginning to enjoy her fifteen minutes of fame, but now feels (to maintain her high profile) she needs a schtick.

I told her to go fetch one.
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Mick Harper
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Borry, it's no use racking up examples of things nobody is disputing. Unless you intend taking them in a new direction. Address the salient points, please.

Chad, who's writing your dog's material, Al Reed? It's out of the ark. Here's how the joke went originally

Don't mind me, I'm putting my stand-up act together for my Third Age. Coming on stage with a stick will be my schtick.

Sometimes I think nobody reads my stuff. I complained about this to Hatty and she said, "Count me in." I like it when she agrees with me.
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Chad


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Sometimes I think nobody reads my stuff.

My dog does... evidently.
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Mick Harper
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For reasons which need not concern you (Hatty’s on a Facebook tear) we are in urgent need of information and speculation on the River Wey. Ah, I hear you ask with some anxiety, which River Wey? Precisely, I would reply, because at each end of the Pilgrim’s Way/Ridgeway/Michael Line (cut and paste to fit theory) there is a river Wey, one that goes into the Thames at Weybridge (cue Megalithic reference) and one that flows into the sea at Weymouth (cue Megalithic reference).

The thing that first got our attention was a local well enthusiast stating the Dorset Wey has no tributaries. This sent me looking at the Surrey Wey which has a tributary called The South Branch which in turn has a tributary called Cooper’s Stream which has a source called Waggoners Wells. Since these names cannot be Canal Age terminology, they must (he announces) be of Megalithic origin.

That is all for now but I expect some contributions (preferably in English) from those of you who spend your days messing about in rivers but are presently stuck at home refereeing fights between the wife and the cat.
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Boreades


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Mick Harper wrote:
presently stuck at home refereeing fights between the wife and the cat.


Haven't got a cat. Our dog would not approve. Can we substitute fights between the wife and annoying-children-that-have-returned-to-the-nest?
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