Julian's Bower

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 53°41′05″N 0°40′10″W / 53.684854°N 0.669407°W / 53.684854; -0.669407

Julian's Bower, as seen looking west.

Julian's Bower or Julian Bower is a name which was given to turf mazes in several different parts of England. Only one of this name still exists, at Alkborough in North Lincolnshire. It has also been known by corrupted forms of the name, such as "Gillian's Bore" and "Gilling Bore".

The 18th century antiquary William Stukeley mentions a "Julian Bower" turf maze at Horncastle, Lincolnshire, and in nearby Louth there was a "Gelyan Bower", which was mentioned in accounts of 1554.

At Goathland, North Yorkshire there was a "July Park" or "St Julian's" maze.

At Whinfell Forest there is a farm called Julian Bower, originally built to support the Keeper[citation needed]. It now lies outside the forest boundary.

Some English turf mazes are very similar in their layout to Scandinavian labyrinths, which usually have their paths marked with stones. At Grothornet, in Vartdal in the Sunnmore Province of Norway there is a stone-lined labyrinth called "Den Julianske Borg" ("Julian's Castle").

The name is believed to be derived from Julus, son of Aeneas of Troy, and the word place-name element burgh, meaning "a fortified place", "fort" or "castle". The reasoning behind this etymology is based on the fact that many mazes and labyrinths in Britain were called "Troy", "Troy Town" or "The Walls of Troy"; similar names, such as "Trojaburg", "Trojburg" or "Trelleborg", were used in Scandinavia. In popular legend, the walls of the city of Troy were constructed in such a complex and confusing way that any enemy who entered them would be unable to find his way out.

On a clear day, Emley Moor TV tower (40 miles), the top of York Minster and the Kilburn White Horse (45 miles) can be seen from Julian's Bower.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Gerster, Georg; Adrian T. Fisher (1990). The art of the maze. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-83027-9. 
  • Saward, Jeff (2002). Magical Paths: Labyrinths & Mazes in the 21st Century. London: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 1-84000-573-4. 
  • Bord, Janet; Colin Bord (1981). Mysterious Britain. Chicago: Academy Chicago Pub. ISBN 0-586-08157-7. 

External links[edit]