The Alignments of Brigantia

Beyond the Map and the Manuscript

The Alignments of Brigantia

Published in 1976, Guy Ragland Phillips' Brigantia: A Mysteriography, is a special book. It's a wide-ranging compendium of folk knowledge and oral history about the land fomerly known as Brigantia, now corresponding roughly to northern England. Yet such a description barely does it justice. What makes this book one of my favourites is that it records traditions and local lore which have surely all but passed away now. It is truly a record of a bygone era.

It is full of marvels. One of my favourite chapters is about skulls kept in stately homes which cannot be removed or disposed of without calamitous consequences. The book covers a wide array of subject matter, but it is now known in particular for its description of the so-called Belinus Line, an alignment through multiple significant ancient sites across the island of Great Britain. This has become the subject of a number of books by later authors, including Gary Biltcliffe's The Spine of Albion, who have traced the line along its length and explored in detail how it interacts with the landscape.

The description of the Belinus Line, and other landscape alignments, in Guy Ragland Phillips' Brigantia is confined to the first two, relatively short, chapters of his book. There is a map showing the Belinus Line appearing opposite the title page, but this is by no means the only such alignment, and there are many more detailed in those first two chapters. To begin, Phillips actually describes not one but two alignments which may be traced the entire length of Great Britain, running parallel. Further there are approximately twenty other alignments, also running roughly parallel to the Belinus Line, which are found across the region of Brigantia, from the east coast to the west coast.

However, whilst these alignments are described in detail on pages 23 and 24 of the book, in terms of the names of the locations through which they pass, there are unfortunately no adequate maps included which would allow the reader to fully grasp the extent of them. I talked about these alignments at 58:00 in the video linked below in my presentation to Megalithomania in 2023.

video preview

As shown in the presentation, I decided to transcribe Phillip's alignments onto Google Earth in order to study them properly. In this blog post, I want to share some of these images. These now permit the reader to visualise for the first time since the book was published in 1976, the full extent of the network of alignments across Brigantia which Phillips presented.

The first image below shows all of the lines, including the two which stretch across the full island. For the other alignments, the positions named by Phillips are marked (without labels for the sake of clarity). The first thing to notice is that all of the alignments are approximately parallel, and oriented to a direction running at an angle to north-south. Click on the images for full size and resolution.

In the map below, I have zoomed in and turned on the place names.

In the next map, I zoom in further on the north east corner of the alignments.

I have not included here all of the maps I've made depicting Phillips' full set of alignments, but have focussed just on these images of the twenty alignments which are approximately parallel to the two extended Belinus Lines. The bearing to which these are all aligned, with some variation in each individual line, is close to azimuth 167°. What is the reason for this particular orientation of the alignments?

One of the things that makes Phillips' account of these alignments so compelling is that they are part of a very wide-ranging collection of materials about the people and landscape and history of Brigantia. They are certainly not a mere exercise in finding and joining dots on a map but rather a faithful recording of true local lore. For this reason, we can be confident, if not certain, that these alignments represent genuine interventions in the landscape at some earlier era. And if this is true, then there must be some underlying common means by which the direction of these alignments was determined. What could that be?

Guy Ragland Phillips speculates that it might have something to do with the earth's magnetic field. If the alignments were made at an earlier time when the north magnetic pole was 13° away from the geographic pole, then perhaps they were oriented using magnets in some way?

I offer a different suggestion. Observing the night skies to the south over Great Britain in the era between 4,000BC and 3,000BC, using Stellarium, reveals a remarkable phenomenon: the constellation of Crux, the Southern Cross, the brightest constellation in the night sky, positioned upright during a moment of its nightly transit, at a bearing of azimuth 167°.

The Belinus Lines and their associated satellite lines are oriented at the upright position of Crux on the southern Horizon in the megalithic era as viewed from the ancient island of Albion, now Great Britain. Here are some images from Stellarium which show how it looked. Further description of how this works may be found in my Megalithomania talk. First a wide angle view.

Next, zooming in on Crux itself. At this moment, Gamma Crux is perfectly vertically aligned above Alpha Crux. A simple plumb-bob, establishing a vertical, is sufficient to uniquely calibrate this moment and direction each night. Over time, Crux drifts southward, and drops below the horizon, due to the effects of precession. Now of course it is no longer visible from northern latitudes, but in the megalithic era it was a prominent sight in the southern night sky.

I think Guy Ragland Phillips would have been thrilled to see these images. I hope so. His book has been an inspiration to me, and a source of tremendous reading pleasure. Highly recommended.

The Map and the Manuscript: Journeys in the Mysteries of the Two Rennes

Available in Kindle, paperback, hardback and now ePub. Great British Bookshop

© 2023 Simon Miles

Ignotum Press

Unit W2/211 Woodend Mill 2

Manchester Road


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Beyond the Map and the Manuscript

Author, researcher, speaker. My first book, The Map and the Manuscript: Journeys in the Mysteries of the Two Rennes, was published by Ignotum Press in 2022. I blog here on topics connected with the book, including landscape alignments, ancient sites, France, the Pyrenees, Jean Richer, Rennes-les-Bains, alchemy, geometry, Jung, Gérard de Nerval, Le Serpent Rouge, the Affair of Rennes, and more.

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