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13 November 2014

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You are in: Gloucestershire > History > History Features > Gloucestershire's ley lines

Map showing Gloucestershire 'ley lines'

Map showing the county's 'ley lines'.

Gloucestershire's ley lines

Ley lines are one of the most enduring earth mysteries. A network of prehistoric pathways criss-crossing the country, some believe them to have mystical significance. By Dave Wood, Anne Piper and Cindy Nunn.

Ley lines, also known as "leys" and "dragon lines" are phenomena most people have heard of but few really understand. Indeed it would be fair to say that no-one understands them fully, as they remain largely unexplained.

Are there ley lines in Gloucestershire? If so, do they really 'pass through' allegedly haunted places?

From what we do know, a ley line seems to be a straight line that carries an altered form of the earth's magnetic field, however it is proving difficult to define that power even to this day.

It has been claimed that birds, fish and animals use them as 'compasses', helping them find direction back to breeding grounds and to warmer climates during winter months. They have also been said to be vast prehistoric trade routes.

An article in New Scientist magazine, published in 1987, suggested that species as diverse as pigeons, whales, bees and even bacteria can navigate using the earth's magnetic field.

It is thought that a tissue containing a substance called magnetite is responsible for this.

Magnetite enables living creatures to sense magnetic changes and has been found in human tissue linked to the ethmoid bone in the front of the skull.

So what defines a ley line?

Ley/Li/Lei : "The supposed straight line of a prehistoric track usually between hilltops"  (Concise Oxford Dictionary)

This is the general and most widely accepted description of a ley line, but what, then, do they have to do with allegedly haunted places?

"[Ley lines are] alignments and patterns of powerful, invisible earth energy said to connect various sacred sites, such as churches, temples, stone circles, megaliths, holy wells, burial sites, and other locations of spiritual or magical importance". (Harper's Encyclopaedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience)

The scientific belief, as previously explained, is that these lines are areas of altered magnetic fields.

The more spiritual and romantic belief is that they ooze back the energy from all the people who have trodden these mystical, religious paths since time began.

So why are hauntings reported in places ley lines are alleged to pass through?

For the believer it could be said that these areas are likely to have more spirit activity as they are historically of a religious, political and even mystical nature.

It is even believed that UFOs are drawn to these ley lines, making them attractive to investigators of that particular phenomenon.

The Ram Inn

The Ram Inn - built on ley lines?

It is true that more 'paranormal' activity is evidenced in these areas however whether this is of the spirit type or paranormal in its true sense ('unexplained') is still a topic of much debate.

For the follower of the more scientific approach, other explanations for the seemingly increased incidents of paranormal activity are possible.

Generally it is believed that electro-magnetic fields can affect the body and mind. Again this to some extent must be true if magnetic fields affect the magnetite in the human brain.

But other effects of this type of energy are said to be similar to those of static electricity: feelings of 'tingling' on the skin and hairs standing on end.

The energy is thought to produce vibrations on a low frequency which, although inaudible to the human ear, can alter perception and create sensations of dizziness and unbalance. In extreme cases it is thought to be able to cause nausea and headaches.

These symptoms mirror those often described by people who feel the presence of spirits.

A phenomenon often reported during investigations is that of technical equipment behaving erratically.  This is certainly very common at the Ram in Wotton under Edge.

Again, we have to ask ourselves: is this spirit-based or could it be the effect of electro-magnetic fields on the equipment we use?

Could energy from the earth itself be tampering with our audio/visual devices causing interference in some way?

This may account for incidents of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) on audio recordings, by changing the frequency of the evidence.

The weather can also influence investigations, for example 'hauntings' are often reported during thunder storms.

Maybe this is due to psychological reasons, the result of horror films where there is always a storm as the evil spirit grows stronger. Or perhaps it is because there is in fact more 'paranormal' activity during a storm.

Again this, to the believer, could be a spirit getting energy from the power around it.

To the scientist it could be the electricity linked with the storm causing natural phenomena that makes us feel something other than the 'norm' is happening, or the electrical power around us affecting our senses and perceptions.

How are ley lines found?

Geomancy is considered to play a strong part in the location of Leys.

The science of geomancy demands that structures be placed within the landscape according to certain magical formulas that included the laws of mathematics and music and used in such a way as to provide a harmonic setting for the monument.

The general belief is that prehistoric man was aware of these cosmic lines under the earth and sought to build his sacred structures along them in order to tap into their magical properties.

Major prehistoric structures of higher importance can frequently be found to occupy locations where two or more leys intersect with each other.

The priests or shamans of prehistoric man would have been expected to find these leys and work out their connection with other existing monuments accordingly. It is also believed that many ancient groves, worshipped by the Druids, sit upon leys.

Local spiritualists report a ley line running North-North East through the county of Gloucestershire, and that several ley lines converge in Wotton-under-Edge.

There are no known 'maps' of UK leylines, or even Gloucestershire ley lines.

Alleged ley lines are often identified by spiritualists "dowsing" with
rods. Such methods are questionable in their accuracy, so the alleged placing of ley lines should be treated with some scepticism.

Ley lines and haunted places

This first ley line would seem to pass through:

1. The Ram Inn: The Ram claims to be the most haunted building in the country.  Investigators of the Ram occasionally report alleged violent poltergeist activity.  Read PSI's investigation report here.

2. Woodchester Mansion: This gothic-style Victorian mansion.  Several murders are said to have taken place at the mansion, and it boasts a number of reported hauntings.  Paranormal Site Investigators have arranged to conduct an investigation at Woodchester Mansion soon.

3. Prestbury: This village on the outskirts of Cheltenham is allegedly the most haunted in England.  Prestbury's streets are said to be haunted by the Black Abbott and other spirits.

4. North-north east of Prestbury lies the villages of Stanton and Condicote,
believe to be important convergence points for ley lines.

Another ley line is said to converge on the Ram Inn, Wotton under Edge, from the east.

Chavenage House

Chavenage House

On this alleged ley line sits Chavenage House.  This Elizabeth mansion has reported many famous hauntings over the centuries.

The Long Stone in the Forest of Dean is also said to be the central point of
all ley lines.

By Dave Wood (Paranormal Site Investigators), Anne Piper (Gateshead Paranormal Investigators) and Cindy Nunn (Anomalous Phenomena Investigations)

This article is user-generated content (i.e. external contribution) expressing a personal opinion, not the views of BBC Gloucestershire.

Here are some of the messages you have left by using the form below:

david power
I think we may have ley lines in our new house, cause the water meter got stuck on 616, although this may have been due to the recent floods

Jeremy L Tapper
I have read about Nicola Teasla. He was the real 'genius of eledctricity' one of his proposals was simply to transmit electrical energy through the ground.No wires no pylons just the earth's conductivity. Could this have been achieved by a lost civilisation?

Ley lines are not something to make a mockery of because you don't understand how they work. Scientists and psychologists will always come up with an explanation however plausable to explain "strange stuff". and when they work out about religion and prove "scientifically" that either it does or does not exist, only then will people stop believing in their god. Until then why is the unexplained mocked? Because people fear not being in control. Man created god, and if god created man then someone please explain about dinosaurs as they were around millions of years before "god" existed!!

no name
thank you for writing this. I have been under the impression that i live in, on or arround lay lines. I see that there are some side effects to living close to these lines and whom ever wrote this hit the nail on the head. I wonder, is there any known method to prevent the physical effects of ley lines?

As with every subject, there is no shortage of experts who have been handed inerrant revealed and absolute knowledge of the true facts, which just happend to coincide with my prejudices. But proven absolutely, without a doubt. Amazing how many people have the world absolutely skeptically figured out via this insightful and flawless understanding. Yet they never seem to know anything which could actually be of value to mankind. Truth is measured in VALUE, not correctness.

vampretta (dee)
why would ufos visit this spot when they can visit more intresting spots like london or antartica?

douglas young FYI one location of a gloucester long to the A4136 Monmouth to Christchurch road, 0.6 miles (1 km) South-east of Staunton, in a region of the Forest of Dean known as Marion's Inclosure. One of four stones in Gloucestershire having the name 'Long Stone'

Tim Moorhead
Kentucky Usa, I cannot say for sure if I believe that Ley Lines exist. I will say that I give it more than just a consideration as I am a sensitive to certain energies and It could explain why I feel things as I do. Coral Castle in Florida may be on a Ley line ....Take care

I was having many problems in many areas of my life and called a Feng Shui expert into my home many years ago. He found 2 parallel ley lines running through my house. They both went directly through the bed my elder daughter slept in and I was informed that this would cause headaches, insomnia and possibly mental illness. She had all of these, not just slightly but severely. Also the corner of the rooms were they enter the house - the plaster is badly cracked (its a new house)- none of the other walls are cracked. Nobody sleeps in that back bedroom now and my daugher (who lives elsewhere) is making a good recovery after loosing many years of her life and youth.

See the Hamish Miller & Paul Broadhurst book, "The Sun and the Serpent," for a map of the British Ley lines.

Not sure whatley lines are but i would like to know if they run through my house! we have some very stange things happen if they are real that will explane why!

Miles Cowles
Prior to today I've never heard of these "Ley lines." I was out hiking with some guys from our church at nearby Smith Rocks here in central Oregon. Joe has been a builder for over 30 years and was describing how aggravating a current building project had become. Even with the use of precision laser equipment he and others on the site could not get a particular wall constructed straight and level despite re-constructing several times. Another guy had similar problems with some foundation work. Still others complained of feeling disoriented and dizzy with one particular woman having to to drop to all fours to move away from a certain spot! Apparently Joe had encountered other such phenomena and he went on to call these manifestations "paralines." After he had received some good natured jibes about this I told him I'd "Google" it. I didn't find any hits that really fit what happened until I read this article on "ley lines" in jolly ol' England. So for what its worth I hope that contributes to the discussion somehow. I'll continue my investigation and would like to visit this site myself.

sean doyle
are thereany indecations of realy powerfull lines running through brimscombe hill near stroud because i think it is wourth looking into it.

I think I live on ley lines. We have used the dowsing rods and they go mad in certain areas. The energy in my house is lively (can be very negative and things seem to get out of hand easily) and it is quite difficult to relax in some areas of my house. We have also had quite a lot of spiritual activity to which we have had to have people come out to clear it. Karen

In the late 1950s or early 1960s a journal called "The Lay Line Reader" was published. Do you know of the publication? Backers? Or where past issues might be found?

I can provide some info about the rep[orted sounds of "horses' hooves" which appeared to galloping through Prestbury late 1950s/early 60s. They were produced by tapping the dashboard of a police patrol car (with loud-hailer on) by two members of the Glos constabulary! [sounds intriguing - please get in touch with us at - The Webmasters]

Matthew 'Chips' Smith
I'm glad there is someone sensible on here Sue. Ley Lines are as real as ghosts, god or any of that made up rubbish.

Paula Baker
i think ley lines are a load of tosh

Christopher Wilson
I think that they do exist, but that our understanding of them is primitive; they may be a complex series of interconnected phenomena involving magnetic fields, piezoelectric activity associated with earthquake fault zones, movement of water and magma, and atmospheric factors, differing dramatically in different areas. They may function together as "antennae" or receivers for astrological influences. The "lines" themselves probably represent some form of correspondence between adjacent concentrations of high energy. I would doubt they are at all related to the actions of ancient mystical adepts except insofar as they may have been aware of them and formed beliefs and rituals related to them. I live in Western Marin County, California, a grand mess of ley lines if anyplace is.

I don't believe in them; I know that they exist. I've felt them. I live on a convergence, one of six. The sixth just recently opened up - and the points, when plotted on a world map, form a pentagram, and show the beginnings of a circle around it. Four more will open up, and then the world will die. I'm not insane, I've just thought about this way too much... the growing number of natural disasters and higher death rates therein, more and more brutal wars... Just about every mythology has an apocalypse theory. I favour the runes gathering in one place to destroy and rebirth the world (Norse origins). These events fit the signs of nearly all of them.

Trystan Swale (SCFR)
Hi Anji. The issue with the energy idea is that it has its basis in fiction a year after the death of Alfred Watkins who initially discovered 'leys', although he thought they were the routes taken by ancient traders. Author Dion Fortune seized upon interest in the subject to create the possibility of leys as energy carriers in his fictional book 'The Goat Foot God' in 1935. The energy idea was indirectly furthered by French UFOlogist Aime Michel who came to the conclusion that UFO sightings occurred in straight lines. Tony Wedd then took it one stage further saying that pine trees also occurred on ley lines ... the trees being navigation points and they leys energy streams, the latter initially proclaimed by the late UFO contactee Buck Nelson (the one and the same man who claimed to pilot flying saucers and befriended an extraterrestrial Saint Bernard called BO!!!). Again, the Dragon Project - run by Gloucestershire based Ley Hunter magazine editor Paul Devereux - found no semblance of an earth energy and utilised a wide range of methods from the measuring of electromagnetism through to dowsing. As for the dowsers who claim to be able to detect certain energies and the like, numerous controlled tests have been undertaken and time after time they yield little in the way of reasonable results.

Anji Gill Jennings
Ley lines are magnetic areas in the earth. It is a known fact that the prehistoric circles of this island follow a path, where the stone circle has been built, there is the culmination of energy which was used by the ancient people. Cathedrals are also built on leylines, the pagans worshipped at wells and running water and the churches were built upon these ancient pagan sites, placing the alter upon the well or running water so that the faithfull would still come, after all it would be a place of worship no matter what was built on top of it. Rings and other metal objects have been known to bend when placed on stones in the circles. I believe they were ancient markers. Ancient people understood so much more about the earth than we do, they were intuitive and inward looking and their festivities were all about the earth and what surrounds us. So yes, I think they exist, have always existed and would go as far as to say that the earth needs them as an intricate part of her make up.

Dan J
ley lines are magical force and energy. they end up haunted places

Trystan Swale (SCFR)
Douglas, the Staunton Longstone can be found at SO 55913 / 12079.

Trystan Swale (from Severnside Centre for Fortean
Interesting to read that ' a ley line seems to be a straight line that carries an altered form of the earth's magnetic field;' when there is absolutely no strong evidence to support this claim beyond 1960s pseudoscience. The Dragon Project, based at the Rollright Stones, conducted tests on sites said to sit on leys and concluded that whilst strange occurrences take place, they are no more widespread than at other sites. Contemporary thinking from local author Danny Sullivan suggests that leys do not exist and are a combination of chance alignment, ancient 'spirit roads' and medieval church alignments.

I live close to the church at the top of Spillman's Rd, off Rodborough Hill in Stroud. Locally everyone believes that we are in a place which is riddled with ley lines (as if the current splits here and forms several small tributaries which may rejoin). There is an incredible cluster of writers, artists and musicians in this area, and also shamans and psychics. None of us knew we were moving to such an area but it does seem as if something may have drawn us. I think there is also one goes through Horns Rd in Stroud, and one through Butterow, as the same people seem to get tossed backwards and forwards between these roads.

Whyare there no known maps of ley lines in Britain? Or anywhere? I am on the case.

Douglas Young
Exactly where is the long stone, OS grid ref?

I personally think there are a lot of different factors into the way the world works, a lot of phenomena can have a rational explanation.

last updated: 18/05/2009 at 13:10
created: 29/06/2005

Have Your Say

What are ley lines? Do you live on or near one? Do they even exist? Let us know what you think...

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Where can I get a map of ley lines featuring Devon

Andy Tapper
It's no coincidence that the most haunted Inn in Britain is full of spirits. With many of the so called mysteries and things we do not undestand there is probably some logical explanation, perhaps something to do with the density of the rock and formation and the way the the magnetic polarity of rock was formed and perhaps subsequenty churned up with volcanic activity, I don't know what I'm talking about but, I expect there is a perfectly good, mundane, even boring explantion for many of these phenomenon

Rory Macquisten
I have mapped many hundreds of kilometers of Ley lines. I normally refer to them as Earth Energy lines and I can confirm that Stroud was one of the most complicated areas to Map these lines in all of Gloucestershire, Avon and Wiltshire. I found 8 pairs of energy lines converging in and around Stroud. The problem I had was the amount of lines and the density of the buildings and keeping track of which line was which as many were the same width. An interesting area there is Pagan Hill. It used to be the site where 4 lines cross over but these were moved into a field a few hundred metres to the West. The currently do not all meet up at the same point and one of the lines needs to be moved to do this. Will look to see if the lines wants to be moved next time I am in the area.Happy dowsing all of you. Its a really fun thing to do - a bit like treasure hunting. I've been mapping these lines for the last 6 years and it will hopefully be not much longer until I have completed an earth energy line map for the local area. However I keep coming across new ones....

Lisa Hire
How do you protect a house from being haunted due to the fact it is situated on a ley-line? How do you 'close' the ley-line?


David R. Cowan
I have beeen following and researching energy leys most of my life.Around my home town of Crieff,Scotland, for instance, I have discovered that many, or most, of the old burial-grounds were accurately located over geological faults or dykes.Also the Freemasons used to have a knowledge of building towns like Crieff, the streets of which have been lined up with volcanic plugs. The entire town is in the shape of a six-pointed star.Ancient Irish round towers were built of paramagnetic material to attract certain energies from the graveyards upon which they were built. There are two in Scotland, Brechin and Abernethy. If you draw a line between them and project it to the SW it goes accurately to the ource of energy, Another volcanic plug, Ailsa Craig.Our ancestors were very much in touch with the planet and its energies!You can find out about my 40 years research on or my ook "Ley Lines and Earth Energies."

Anji Gill-Jennings
Ley lines are the meridians of the Earth. In our physical bodies we have veins where our blood is taken round our body. With the earth the ley lines pass up and down the country carrying magnetic energy. The ancient peoples knew of this and animals are also aware. At certain points these ley lines cross and this causes a powerful surge of earth energy. Spiritual activity does happen a lot where ever these ley lines pass through because of the energy given off. It is a known fact that spirits interfere with electricity which of course is energy also. In fact everything in the universe is made of energy. By studying ley lines you can find the best place to live where the energy feels right. I have heard people say that they are not happy and have not felt well in certain towns and yet somewhere else they are totally at ease. You have to ask yourself why dont you. Modern building does not take into account where the sun is in the morning so which way should you build the house to catch the morning sunlight etc etc just plonked down row upon row of little boxes with windows and doors all in the wrong place and no proper energy flow through the house and all the natural flow blocked. We should work with the earth not against her energy flow. There are many many sensitive people these days (as they know they will not be hanged for it) who can feel the energy from the ley lines and along them for they run from Scotland to Lands End. This energy can be shown by using the divining rod or a pendulum. Pagans held rituals at certain places and some of these places are right slap bang in the middle of a ley line because they knew the energy was strong there. I could say more but i think that is enough for now.

I can tell you from personal experience ley lines are a lot more than magnetic lines. Dragon lines makes sense to me.

neil watson
are there any ley lines in tile cross bham

Trevor King
4 1/2 ley lines fall on mt. monadnock, the second most climbed mountain in the world!

There is an awful lot of knowledge that has been lost to us in recent times. The ancient Chinese believed that the earth exhibits the same meridians of energy that can be stimulated in the human body via acupunture. They called the earth lines dragon lines which are lines of chi energy. I can sense subtle energies and think is is very important for us to keep and open mind on the subject in these turbulent times.

Angie T.
I live in Washington state in the U.S.A. and I believe the convergence of ley lines occurs on our property/in our neighborhood. We have lived here for 20 years, but most of the paranormal activity has occured since 2001. Dreams of volcanic activity have "come to life" within 2 weeks of dreaming them. Loved ones have passed and returned , including our dog. She was here for a couple of weeks. My nephew who was killed in an accident in 2005 has been here since then. My father-in-law who passed in April '08 wanders around from time to time. My husband, daughter, her fiance, and several neighbors have all reported having seen/felt this activity in one way or another. There was even an "evil" entity roaming around, but was ousted. I had never even heard of ley lines till 4-5 years ago, but I sure believe in them. I don't know "what" they are, but know they do either cause "other world" activity or allow it to manifest itself so humans can be aware of it. There is great strength and power in these lines.

Tony Adam
Ley Lines are not few or far between.If you get an ordinace survey map of any part of England and find a church,castle monastary,earth mound or any place that has any form of religeous connections somewhere in a corner of the map and then look for something similar in the opposite corner and draw a stright line between them you will find an amazing number of churches, castes etc alon the line.No matter where you start or finisf a line at any angle anywhere you will find the same alignment of these places. THESE ARE THE LEY LINES.If you are in a valley and there is a ley line you will probably fine a cairn (Pillar of Stones). If it cgoes over a hill you will find a notch in the tree line. (Do not confuse with Powerline routes.There are all sorts of entities along these lines . Get a map and find them.Stonehenge, Salibury Cathedral Windsor Castle, Gladstonbury Tor are some notable ones.

Steve Mitchell
I am busy writing a book about ley lines, earth energies and quantum science - rather a lot to put here but if you want mroe information the initial work is presented in my DVD, Dragons and Rings. I have articles on my site for those interested in finding out more

Susan Talbot
I live in Thornbury & work at River Seven Crossing, where are the nearest ley lines?

rose herman
I live on a ley line in Cornwall, the house attracts alot of people who are looking for some new direction in their life , it is alnost like a catalyst for new beginnings, it has a very positive earthy vibration, and a fabulous garden , I have established a patio area in my back garden with a symbol of the Chalice Well in Glastonbury in it , just to add a little bit of pagan history to it.

Went with friends to the Rollright Stones one special night. A chap showed me what dowsing was about, using a bent up wire coat-hanger. There's definitely lots of forces going on that we civilised folk don't understand. It's quite risible how many succumb to the rather retarded 'I don't understand this, therefore it doesn't exist' viewpoint. There's loads of magic right here in the Land & in us all, I reckon

I most certainly believe that ley lines exist. After having read up on the Scots engineer Alexander Thom and Prof. Gerald Hawkins.

keith boyland
i still remain a sceptic but very open. i visited the ram in wotton last saturday evening and i did not feel a thing apart from very cold.i went home and thought nothing of it and went to bed. i woke up on sunday morning 18 11 07 and every room from that inn was on my mind!i was hooked! on tuesday 20th i drove out my way to revisit the ram. John the owner of the ram welcomed me in with open arms.what a man!he is a very relegious person and speaks what he feels!and after an hour of very interesting listening from him he offered me in his living area to show me some photos, i felt honoured!he showed me photos of stars above his head and orbs and shadows in his home. and then he said ohhh get out!!!i said what me?he said no not you its because we are talking about all this **** (expletive) OFF!!!!!i didnt know what to do!i was tingling and full of goose pimples.after about 2 mins he was fine again.i will visit John now regulary. the ram is smack on a ley line.

I believe my house was built on a ley line. It cuts through the corner of my house, and my cats are always sitting on it, we have unexplained electrical faults and my computer is in the corner of the leyline. I would love to know if there is any way of my local council knowing if my house is on a lay line, as years ago my next door neighbour was told his house was on a geographical fault line, and his house was virtually rebuilt and made safe due to mining subsidence.

leyline di
got to keep on the straight and narrow.

i would love to find out if im nea ley lines but i cant find any ley line maps for england if anybody could let me know pleae email me:

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