Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christus est stella

1 comment:

Littlestone said...

John Aubrey (1626-1697) visited Clyffe Pypard in, or around, 1660, some twelve years after his visit to Avebury where he records being, "...wonderfully surprised at the site of these vast stones, of which I had never heard before, as also the mighty bank and graffe (grass) about it." At Clyffe Pypard Aubrey describes the Church of St Peter as, "Here is a handsome Church, and have been very good windowes."

There are sarsen stones placed under six of the buttresses at the Church of St Peter, Clyffe Pypard, as there are at other Christianised sites close by. This intriguing star motif appears above the porch of the church and is reminiscent of Aubrey's astronomical diagram in The Royal Society's archive. The astronomical diagram is unusual because Aubrey, "...tended to concern himself with earthly matters. He called the group of stars between the Hydra and Cancer constellations a 'nubecula', or cloud of stars. It is in fact the so-called 'Beehive Cluster', only first noted by Galileo in 1610, so that this (The Royal Society's diagram) is a very early British diagram of the phenomenon."*

* Kate Bosley writing in the pamphlet, John Aubrey, for the National Trust and Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury.