Abstract and Keywords
This article provides a summary of a lengthier exploration of the numinous and sacred qualities of the natural world in pre-Christian England. Types of natural locale considered to have held sacred or superstitious importance are reviewed. Topographic observation and archaeological evidence are used alongside historical sources and accounts, in a review of evidence for special natural places in the Anglo-Saxon psyche. The article then concentrates on the human-altered landscape, with monument re-use and new monumentality reviewed as evidence for sacred places and religious structures. Some thoughts on three overarching themes: accessibility, identity, and the importance of the longue durée. Springs, wells, rivers, and lakes attracted activity of a ritual or religious nature in the pre-Christian and Conversion period. It highlights the significance of the natural landscape and ancient remains within the beliefs and spiritual perceptions of early medieval communities, before and after the Conversion.
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