A Sense of Memory

Weathercock HillNicola here, musing about the atmosphere of particular places. Today I’m taking us back a long way in English history, beyond the Regency, beyond those ubiquitous Tudors, to a time before the Norman Conquest when England was split into the Anglo Saxon seven kingdoms. The village where I live has a recorded history that goes back to this distant time – there are actual documents from the era relating to events that happened in this very place over a thousand years ago and I find that mind-blowing. As I walk along the footpaths and over the hills I frequently imagine how it might have looked in that time and try to see all the way back through the mists of history to think myself back there.  I can be pretty successful at this; when it’s quiet and I’m standing on the Ravens’ Fort and all I can hear are the birds singing and I feel the breeze on my face I can persuade myself, for a split second anyway, that I have travelled in time. Then an aeroplane flies over and I think perhaps not after all.

Certain places have a very strong sense of atmosphere. I’ve been to battlefields such as Flodden and Culloden where the whole Pineapple House landscape feels as though it is steeped in the bloodshed and suffering of the men who died there. I’ve visited historic houses that feel imbued with the personalities of the people who lived there, and I’ve wandered happily through gardens that feel peaceful or visited buildings that have a joyous atmosphere. How much of this is down to the emotional memory of the place and how much is down to my imagination, I cannot say. As writers and readers of historical fiction I think we all step into that other world. My current manuscript looks at “stone tape theory” which was an idea popular in the 19th century and later in the 1970s that places retain emotional memories in their very fabric. This is one theory said to account for ghostly sightings. It’s an intriguing idea around which to build a timeslip novel.

Viking great armyAnyway, back to the Anglo Saxons. The area around here, now known as the Berkshire Downs, has been disputed land for generations, on the borderland of several warring tribes. Tomorrow, 8th January, marks the date of a tumultuous battle. Here is the story.

In 870 CE, the Danes (otherwise known as the Vikings) embarked on an invasion of the Saxon kingdom of Wessex. They sailed up the River Thames and came ashore at Maidenhead in Berkshire. Moving inland, they captured the town of Reading and began fortifying the site as their base. The Danish commanders, Kings Bagsecg and Halfdan Ragnarsson, were supported by five Earls. They met considerable resistance from Aethelwulf the Earl of Berkshire, who was backed up by King Ethelred of Wessex and his younger brother, Alfred. After initial successes Ethelred planned an assault on the Danes' camp at Reading but was unable to break through the defences and was driven back to the Berkshire Downs. The Danes, seeing an opportunity now to crush the Saxons and take the whole of the Kingdom of Wessex, rode out from Reading with the bulk of their army in the winter of 871, intent of meeting the Saxons in battle.

Local legend tells of Prince Alfred riding to a place called Blowingstone Hill to use the ancient The Blowing stone sarsen blowing stone to call all men of Wessex to battle. (The blowing stone is still there – it's in someone's back garden now!) He then mustered his forces at "Alfred's Castle" (this name only dates from the 18th century though – before that it was called Ashbury Camp) the Iron Age hill fort situated to the west of Ashdown House, joined with his brother's troops who had been encamped nearby, and rode to do battle with the Danes. The actual site of the battle has always been disputed because no one thought to record it accurately. However, field names and local folklore, which often contains more than a grain of evidence, suggests that the Battle of Ashdown took place to the south west of Ashbury village, along the escarpment that borders the The wayteRidgeway. Up until the mid-eighteenth century this escarpment was too steep to cultivate for crops; even now the steepest inclines are covered in trees. Ancient records identify this area of land as called "The Wayte," meaning a look out place or ambush. This meaning is still in use today in the form of "lying in wait." Could this be a record in a place name, a piece of land where the Saxon lookouts patrolled and Alfred's army lay in wait for the Danes as they marched out of Reading?

This brings us to the Rammesburi, the Ravens’ Fort. The raven is the familiar of Woden, the Raven's Fort Teutonic god of war and death. It also has sinister connections in literature as a bird that haunts battlefields. Could the Ravens' Fort have been named in memory of the Battle of Ashdown? As a final twist, ravens are birds that habitually nest in the same places that they have inhabited for centuries. Today there are ravens on Weathercock Hill and in the woods around Ashdown.

The description of the Battle of Ashdown in the Anglo Saxon chronicle is superbly bloodthirsty and summons up the atmosphere of that violent era: “In the year 871, which was the 23rd of King Alfred’s life, the pagan army, of hateful memory, entering the kingdom of the West Saxons scoured the country for plunder… The great army came to Reading and King Ethelred and Alfred his brother fought with the enemy and there was much slaughter on either hand.  And four nights after this, King Ethelred and Alfred his brother fought with all the army again at Ashdown. And when both armies had fought long and bravely at last the pagans took to disgraceful flight and the Saxons pursued them all day and all night to the gates of Reading. One of their two Danish kings and five earls were slain, together with many thousand men, who fell on all sides, covering with their bodies the whole plain of the Ashdown.”

RavenAsser, the Welsh monk who was King Alfred’s biographer, recorded the event in slightly sparser terms: "Alfred moved his army against the enemy… the Vikings had taken the higher position, and they were deploying from a lower position. A rather small and solitary thorn tree grew there, around which the opposing armies clashed violently.”

Alfred became King of the West Saxons a few months after this. King Alfred the Great – the only English King ever to bear that title – may be our most famous local celebrity in the days before the concept was invented. He was born down the road in Wantage and had a royal hall nearby at Lambourn. This was a land he knew well: the Downs; the villages; the kingdom of Wessex stretching away to the west.

We will never know for certain the exact location of the Battle of Ashdown unless some incontrovertible proof comes to light, which Alfred the Great seems unlikely. Here at Ashdown we are commemorating Alfred's victory tomorrow and feel Ashbury has as strong an historical claim to be the location as any other site. It's also a wonderful opportunity to post up some of our gorgeous landscape photographs of the surrounding countryside! All of which brings me back to atmospheric places. Standing on the edge of Alfred’s castle with its commanding views of the surrounding landscape, it’s easy to feel the sense of history and imagine the desperate preparations for impending battle, the blowing stone calling the men of Wessex, the assembling armies, all in a spot that sometimes feels as though it has barely changed in a thousand years.

Is there a particular place where you feel a strong sense of atmosphere or history? Do you think it’s down to a vivid imagination or a memory captured in a particular place?

130 thoughts on “A Sense of Memory”

  1. I think that almost every historical place I have ever visited had a strong sense of atmosphere. And I am sure that my own imagination played into it also. History is something that has always seemed very “alive” to me – even when just reading about it in books.
    On a side note, when I read about the blowing stone being still there – located in someone’s back garden, I couldn’t help but wonder how that affects the property value.
    Thank you so much for such an interesting post.

    Reply
  2. I think that almost every historical place I have ever visited had a strong sense of atmosphere. And I am sure that my own imagination played into it also. History is something that has always seemed very “alive” to me – even when just reading about it in books.
    On a side note, when I read about the blowing stone being still there – located in someone’s back garden, I couldn’t help but wonder how that affects the property value.
    Thank you so much for such an interesting post.

    Reply
  3. I think that almost every historical place I have ever visited had a strong sense of atmosphere. And I am sure that my own imagination played into it also. History is something that has always seemed very “alive” to me – even when just reading about it in books.
    On a side note, when I read about the blowing stone being still there – located in someone’s back garden, I couldn’t help but wonder how that affects the property value.
    Thank you so much for such an interesting post.

    Reply
  4. I think that almost every historical place I have ever visited had a strong sense of atmosphere. And I am sure that my own imagination played into it also. History is something that has always seemed very “alive” to me – even when just reading about it in books.
    On a side note, when I read about the blowing stone being still there – located in someone’s back garden, I couldn’t help but wonder how that affects the property value.
    Thank you so much for such an interesting post.

    Reply
  5. I think that almost every historical place I have ever visited had a strong sense of atmosphere. And I am sure that my own imagination played into it also. History is something that has always seemed very “alive” to me – even when just reading about it in books.
    On a side note, when I read about the blowing stone being still there – located in someone’s back garden, I couldn’t help but wonder how that affects the property value.
    Thank you so much for such an interesting post.

    Reply
  6. Hi Mary!I guess those of us who have a vivid imagination and an interest in history are halfway there to feeling the atmosphere of a place! I’d love to think there was something mystical about it too though.
    That’s an interesting thought about property values.I think you’d get a hefty extra added value for possessing King Alfred’s blowing stone!

    Reply
  7. Hi Mary!I guess those of us who have a vivid imagination and an interest in history are halfway there to feeling the atmosphere of a place! I’d love to think there was something mystical about it too though.
    That’s an interesting thought about property values.I think you’d get a hefty extra added value for possessing King Alfred’s blowing stone!

    Reply
  8. Hi Mary!I guess those of us who have a vivid imagination and an interest in history are halfway there to feeling the atmosphere of a place! I’d love to think there was something mystical about it too though.
    That’s an interesting thought about property values.I think you’d get a hefty extra added value for possessing King Alfred’s blowing stone!

    Reply
  9. Hi Mary!I guess those of us who have a vivid imagination and an interest in history are halfway there to feeling the atmosphere of a place! I’d love to think there was something mystical about it too though.
    That’s an interesting thought about property values.I think you’d get a hefty extra added value for possessing King Alfred’s blowing stone!

    Reply
  10. Hi Mary!I guess those of us who have a vivid imagination and an interest in history are halfway there to feeling the atmosphere of a place! I’d love to think there was something mystical about it too though.
    That’s an interesting thought about property values.I think you’d get a hefty extra added value for possessing King Alfred’s blowing stone!

    Reply
  11. Throughout my life my life my mind has captured images that I just can’t shake. Crater Lake’s deep, deep, blue water, the sunset reflected in the Great Salt Lake when we were moving east are just a couple of the images that have stayed with me. Other locations have made similar impressions because of an emotional connection such as the time I met my husband. Imagine how the gunsmoke of an 1857 Napolean lays low, clinging to the dew on a September morning in a cornfield just as the dawn breaks the horizon obscuring the view of the Confederates coming to capture our position at the Artz Farm south of Hagerstown, MD 135 years after the battle of Antietam.

    Reply
  12. Throughout my life my life my mind has captured images that I just can’t shake. Crater Lake’s deep, deep, blue water, the sunset reflected in the Great Salt Lake when we were moving east are just a couple of the images that have stayed with me. Other locations have made similar impressions because of an emotional connection such as the time I met my husband. Imagine how the gunsmoke of an 1857 Napolean lays low, clinging to the dew on a September morning in a cornfield just as the dawn breaks the horizon obscuring the view of the Confederates coming to capture our position at the Artz Farm south of Hagerstown, MD 135 years after the battle of Antietam.

    Reply
  13. Throughout my life my life my mind has captured images that I just can’t shake. Crater Lake’s deep, deep, blue water, the sunset reflected in the Great Salt Lake when we were moving east are just a couple of the images that have stayed with me. Other locations have made similar impressions because of an emotional connection such as the time I met my husband. Imagine how the gunsmoke of an 1857 Napolean lays low, clinging to the dew on a September morning in a cornfield just as the dawn breaks the horizon obscuring the view of the Confederates coming to capture our position at the Artz Farm south of Hagerstown, MD 135 years after the battle of Antietam.

    Reply
  14. Throughout my life my life my mind has captured images that I just can’t shake. Crater Lake’s deep, deep, blue water, the sunset reflected in the Great Salt Lake when we were moving east are just a couple of the images that have stayed with me. Other locations have made similar impressions because of an emotional connection such as the time I met my husband. Imagine how the gunsmoke of an 1857 Napolean lays low, clinging to the dew on a September morning in a cornfield just as the dawn breaks the horizon obscuring the view of the Confederates coming to capture our position at the Artz Farm south of Hagerstown, MD 135 years after the battle of Antietam.

    Reply
  15. Throughout my life my life my mind has captured images that I just can’t shake. Crater Lake’s deep, deep, blue water, the sunset reflected in the Great Salt Lake when we were moving east are just a couple of the images that have stayed with me. Other locations have made similar impressions because of an emotional connection such as the time I met my husband. Imagine how the gunsmoke of an 1857 Napolean lays low, clinging to the dew on a September morning in a cornfield just as the dawn breaks the horizon obscuring the view of the Confederates coming to capture our position at the Artz Farm south of Hagerstown, MD 135 years after the battle of Antietam.

    Reply
  16. Fascinating post Nicola … your love of history is so apparent!
    I do think that historical buildings can have an associated ‘energy’. Dowsers actually map the auras of material objects, not just Ley lines, with interesting results. As with most things, I think that certain people have high sensitivity and talent while others can feel nothing at all.
    I was recently in Hereford cathedral sitting quietly admiring the Thomas Denny stained glass commemorating Thomas Traherne. When very quiet, in the presence of great beauty, the mind can sometimes float into an area of peace and wonder. One can almost feel the spirit of the saints!
    https://gerryco23.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/the-visions-of-thomas-traherne/

    Reply
  17. Fascinating post Nicola … your love of history is so apparent!
    I do think that historical buildings can have an associated ‘energy’. Dowsers actually map the auras of material objects, not just Ley lines, with interesting results. As with most things, I think that certain people have high sensitivity and talent while others can feel nothing at all.
    I was recently in Hereford cathedral sitting quietly admiring the Thomas Denny stained glass commemorating Thomas Traherne. When very quiet, in the presence of great beauty, the mind can sometimes float into an area of peace and wonder. One can almost feel the spirit of the saints!
    https://gerryco23.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/the-visions-of-thomas-traherne/

    Reply
  18. Fascinating post Nicola … your love of history is so apparent!
    I do think that historical buildings can have an associated ‘energy’. Dowsers actually map the auras of material objects, not just Ley lines, with interesting results. As with most things, I think that certain people have high sensitivity and talent while others can feel nothing at all.
    I was recently in Hereford cathedral sitting quietly admiring the Thomas Denny stained glass commemorating Thomas Traherne. When very quiet, in the presence of great beauty, the mind can sometimes float into an area of peace and wonder. One can almost feel the spirit of the saints!
    https://gerryco23.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/the-visions-of-thomas-traherne/

    Reply
  19. Fascinating post Nicola … your love of history is so apparent!
    I do think that historical buildings can have an associated ‘energy’. Dowsers actually map the auras of material objects, not just Ley lines, with interesting results. As with most things, I think that certain people have high sensitivity and talent while others can feel nothing at all.
    I was recently in Hereford cathedral sitting quietly admiring the Thomas Denny stained glass commemorating Thomas Traherne. When very quiet, in the presence of great beauty, the mind can sometimes float into an area of peace and wonder. One can almost feel the spirit of the saints!
    https://gerryco23.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/the-visions-of-thomas-traherne/

    Reply
  20. Fascinating post Nicola … your love of history is so apparent!
    I do think that historical buildings can have an associated ‘energy’. Dowsers actually map the auras of material objects, not just Ley lines, with interesting results. As with most things, I think that certain people have high sensitivity and talent while others can feel nothing at all.
    I was recently in Hereford cathedral sitting quietly admiring the Thomas Denny stained glass commemorating Thomas Traherne. When very quiet, in the presence of great beauty, the mind can sometimes float into an area of peace and wonder. One can almost feel the spirit of the saints!
    https://gerryco23.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/the-visions-of-thomas-traherne/

    Reply
  21. Thank you very much, Quantum. I’m so happy you enjoyed the post. I thought it would strike a chord with readers because so many of us have that awareness of history and place.
    That’s also very interesting about dowsers mapping the auras of material objects as well as ley lines.It does seem that there is some sort of energy around special places and sites that have seen extraordinary events. And thank you for the link to the blog piece!

    Reply
  22. Thank you very much, Quantum. I’m so happy you enjoyed the post. I thought it would strike a chord with readers because so many of us have that awareness of history and place.
    That’s also very interesting about dowsers mapping the auras of material objects as well as ley lines.It does seem that there is some sort of energy around special places and sites that have seen extraordinary events. And thank you for the link to the blog piece!

    Reply
  23. Thank you very much, Quantum. I’m so happy you enjoyed the post. I thought it would strike a chord with readers because so many of us have that awareness of history and place.
    That’s also very interesting about dowsers mapping the auras of material objects as well as ley lines.It does seem that there is some sort of energy around special places and sites that have seen extraordinary events. And thank you for the link to the blog piece!

    Reply
  24. Thank you very much, Quantum. I’m so happy you enjoyed the post. I thought it would strike a chord with readers because so many of us have that awareness of history and place.
    That’s also very interesting about dowsers mapping the auras of material objects as well as ley lines.It does seem that there is some sort of energy around special places and sites that have seen extraordinary events. And thank you for the link to the blog piece!

    Reply
  25. Thank you very much, Quantum. I’m so happy you enjoyed the post. I thought it would strike a chord with readers because so many of us have that awareness of history and place.
    That’s also very interesting about dowsers mapping the auras of material objects as well as ley lines.It does seem that there is some sort of energy around special places and sites that have seen extraordinary events. And thank you for the link to the blog piece!

    Reply
  26. There is a Civil War battle site in St. Louis at one of the busiest intersections in midtown. Driving through, riding public transportation, or crossing with the walk light, I never fail to think of this as a battle site. You can’ stand on the corner and soak up atmosphere, you will be jostled by the other pedestrians. But I never pass that intersection without thinking of that battle.
    A mile or so south of their is the site of the encampment of the Union soldiers. It is in a small city park containing holding tanks for the cities water system. Peaceful enough for remembrance, but I seldom think of this as an encampment. It’s the battle energy that seems to seep through.
    I suspect that this is mostly me personal reaction; but the reaction is distinctly related to the battle site and not the encampment.

    Reply
  27. There is a Civil War battle site in St. Louis at one of the busiest intersections in midtown. Driving through, riding public transportation, or crossing with the walk light, I never fail to think of this as a battle site. You can’ stand on the corner and soak up atmosphere, you will be jostled by the other pedestrians. But I never pass that intersection without thinking of that battle.
    A mile or so south of their is the site of the encampment of the Union soldiers. It is in a small city park containing holding tanks for the cities water system. Peaceful enough for remembrance, but I seldom think of this as an encampment. It’s the battle energy that seems to seep through.
    I suspect that this is mostly me personal reaction; but the reaction is distinctly related to the battle site and not the encampment.

    Reply
  28. There is a Civil War battle site in St. Louis at one of the busiest intersections in midtown. Driving through, riding public transportation, or crossing with the walk light, I never fail to think of this as a battle site. You can’ stand on the corner and soak up atmosphere, you will be jostled by the other pedestrians. But I never pass that intersection without thinking of that battle.
    A mile or so south of their is the site of the encampment of the Union soldiers. It is in a small city park containing holding tanks for the cities water system. Peaceful enough for remembrance, but I seldom think of this as an encampment. It’s the battle energy that seems to seep through.
    I suspect that this is mostly me personal reaction; but the reaction is distinctly related to the battle site and not the encampment.

    Reply
  29. There is a Civil War battle site in St. Louis at one of the busiest intersections in midtown. Driving through, riding public transportation, or crossing with the walk light, I never fail to think of this as a battle site. You can’ stand on the corner and soak up atmosphere, you will be jostled by the other pedestrians. But I never pass that intersection without thinking of that battle.
    A mile or so south of their is the site of the encampment of the Union soldiers. It is in a small city park containing holding tanks for the cities water system. Peaceful enough for remembrance, but I seldom think of this as an encampment. It’s the battle energy that seems to seep through.
    I suspect that this is mostly me personal reaction; but the reaction is distinctly related to the battle site and not the encampment.

    Reply
  30. There is a Civil War battle site in St. Louis at one of the busiest intersections in midtown. Driving through, riding public transportation, or crossing with the walk light, I never fail to think of this as a battle site. You can’ stand on the corner and soak up atmosphere, you will be jostled by the other pedestrians. But I never pass that intersection without thinking of that battle.
    A mile or so south of their is the site of the encampment of the Union soldiers. It is in a small city park containing holding tanks for the cities water system. Peaceful enough for remembrance, but I seldom think of this as an encampment. It’s the battle energy that seems to seep through.
    I suspect that this is mostly me personal reaction; but the reaction is distinctly related to the battle site and not the encampment.

    Reply
  31. Hi Nicola, I definitely believe places can hold emotional memory. During a visit to Germany, I visited the Dachau concentration camp near Munich. It was clean and tidy, an empty monument with signs and writings much like any other – except from the moment I stepped through the huge gates with their thick, high walls and nearby electric fences, I could feel the chill in the air, an atmosphere of sorrow and death. On a more positive note, I visit Notre Dame in Paris, and I have been fortunate to go three times, I feel an enormous upwelling of faith even though I am not particularly religious myself.

    Reply
  32. Hi Nicola, I definitely believe places can hold emotional memory. During a visit to Germany, I visited the Dachau concentration camp near Munich. It was clean and tidy, an empty monument with signs and writings much like any other – except from the moment I stepped through the huge gates with their thick, high walls and nearby electric fences, I could feel the chill in the air, an atmosphere of sorrow and death. On a more positive note, I visit Notre Dame in Paris, and I have been fortunate to go three times, I feel an enormous upwelling of faith even though I am not particularly religious myself.

    Reply
  33. Hi Nicola, I definitely believe places can hold emotional memory. During a visit to Germany, I visited the Dachau concentration camp near Munich. It was clean and tidy, an empty monument with signs and writings much like any other – except from the moment I stepped through the huge gates with their thick, high walls and nearby electric fences, I could feel the chill in the air, an atmosphere of sorrow and death. On a more positive note, I visit Notre Dame in Paris, and I have been fortunate to go three times, I feel an enormous upwelling of faith even though I am not particularly religious myself.

    Reply
  34. Hi Nicola, I definitely believe places can hold emotional memory. During a visit to Germany, I visited the Dachau concentration camp near Munich. It was clean and tidy, an empty monument with signs and writings much like any other – except from the moment I stepped through the huge gates with their thick, high walls and nearby electric fences, I could feel the chill in the air, an atmosphere of sorrow and death. On a more positive note, I visit Notre Dame in Paris, and I have been fortunate to go three times, I feel an enormous upwelling of faith even though I am not particularly religious myself.

    Reply
  35. Hi Nicola, I definitely believe places can hold emotional memory. During a visit to Germany, I visited the Dachau concentration camp near Munich. It was clean and tidy, an empty monument with signs and writings much like any other – except from the moment I stepped through the huge gates with their thick, high walls and nearby electric fences, I could feel the chill in the air, an atmosphere of sorrow and death. On a more positive note, I visit Notre Dame in Paris, and I have been fortunate to go three times, I feel an enormous upwelling of faith even though I am not particularly religious myself.

    Reply
  36. Hi Laura. Thank you for the comments. Yes, places such as Dachau can have a profoundly strong and disturbing atmosphere, can’t they. A part of that I imagine is our knowledge of what happened there but arguably not all of it. How lovely that you had such a sublime feeling at Notre Dame. That’s very beautiful.

    Reply
  37. Hi Laura. Thank you for the comments. Yes, places such as Dachau can have a profoundly strong and disturbing atmosphere, can’t they. A part of that I imagine is our knowledge of what happened there but arguably not all of it. How lovely that you had such a sublime feeling at Notre Dame. That’s very beautiful.

    Reply
  38. Hi Laura. Thank you for the comments. Yes, places such as Dachau can have a profoundly strong and disturbing atmosphere, can’t they. A part of that I imagine is our knowledge of what happened there but arguably not all of it. How lovely that you had such a sublime feeling at Notre Dame. That’s very beautiful.

    Reply
  39. Hi Laura. Thank you for the comments. Yes, places such as Dachau can have a profoundly strong and disturbing atmosphere, can’t they. A part of that I imagine is our knowledge of what happened there but arguably not all of it. How lovely that you had such a sublime feeling at Notre Dame. That’s very beautiful.

    Reply
  40. Hi Laura. Thank you for the comments. Yes, places such as Dachau can have a profoundly strong and disturbing atmosphere, can’t they. A part of that I imagine is our knowledge of what happened there but arguably not all of it. How lovely that you had such a sublime feeling at Notre Dame. That’s very beautiful.

    Reply
  41. I can understand that feeling. My husband son and I visited the Alamo on a rainy, misty Sunday morning and the feelings we all had were eerie. You could almost feel the lost hope and desperation in those old buildings. Your article brought it all back to me. Thank you all for writing about these historical sites. We gain so much understanding of history with your descriptions of these sites.

    Reply
  42. I can understand that feeling. My husband son and I visited the Alamo on a rainy, misty Sunday morning and the feelings we all had were eerie. You could almost feel the lost hope and desperation in those old buildings. Your article brought it all back to me. Thank you all for writing about these historical sites. We gain so much understanding of history with your descriptions of these sites.

    Reply
  43. I can understand that feeling. My husband son and I visited the Alamo on a rainy, misty Sunday morning and the feelings we all had were eerie. You could almost feel the lost hope and desperation in those old buildings. Your article brought it all back to me. Thank you all for writing about these historical sites. We gain so much understanding of history with your descriptions of these sites.

    Reply
  44. I can understand that feeling. My husband son and I visited the Alamo on a rainy, misty Sunday morning and the feelings we all had were eerie. You could almost feel the lost hope and desperation in those old buildings. Your article brought it all back to me. Thank you all for writing about these historical sites. We gain so much understanding of history with your descriptions of these sites.

    Reply
  45. I can understand that feeling. My husband son and I visited the Alamo on a rainy, misty Sunday morning and the feelings we all had were eerie. You could almost feel the lost hope and desperation in those old buildings. Your article brought it all back to me. Thank you all for writing about these historical sites. We gain so much understanding of history with your descriptions of these sites.

    Reply
  46. I love history. I understand you completely when you talk about atmosphere. A number of times over the past few years, when I visit my home place I’ve had the feeling I’m not alone.
    It’s a small hundred year old cottage in the countryside and was belong to my great grand parents originally and my great grandmother was a character by all accounts. A tough lady who went through terrible hardship and heart ache in her life.
    When I stand in a certain place I’m back in a sunny morning with the cock crowing and it’s just a ‘feeling’ I get. Hard to explain but I feel like I’ve lived it before and that the house is as it was before my Dad extended it.They do say there’s lots of magic in Ireland!
    Enjoyed your post very much.

    Reply
  47. I love history. I understand you completely when you talk about atmosphere. A number of times over the past few years, when I visit my home place I’ve had the feeling I’m not alone.
    It’s a small hundred year old cottage in the countryside and was belong to my great grand parents originally and my great grandmother was a character by all accounts. A tough lady who went through terrible hardship and heart ache in her life.
    When I stand in a certain place I’m back in a sunny morning with the cock crowing and it’s just a ‘feeling’ I get. Hard to explain but I feel like I’ve lived it before and that the house is as it was before my Dad extended it.They do say there’s lots of magic in Ireland!
    Enjoyed your post very much.

    Reply
  48. I love history. I understand you completely when you talk about atmosphere. A number of times over the past few years, when I visit my home place I’ve had the feeling I’m not alone.
    It’s a small hundred year old cottage in the countryside and was belong to my great grand parents originally and my great grandmother was a character by all accounts. A tough lady who went through terrible hardship and heart ache in her life.
    When I stand in a certain place I’m back in a sunny morning with the cock crowing and it’s just a ‘feeling’ I get. Hard to explain but I feel like I’ve lived it before and that the house is as it was before my Dad extended it.They do say there’s lots of magic in Ireland!
    Enjoyed your post very much.

    Reply
  49. I love history. I understand you completely when you talk about atmosphere. A number of times over the past few years, when I visit my home place I’ve had the feeling I’m not alone.
    It’s a small hundred year old cottage in the countryside and was belong to my great grand parents originally and my great grandmother was a character by all accounts. A tough lady who went through terrible hardship and heart ache in her life.
    When I stand in a certain place I’m back in a sunny morning with the cock crowing and it’s just a ‘feeling’ I get. Hard to explain but I feel like I’ve lived it before and that the house is as it was before my Dad extended it.They do say there’s lots of magic in Ireland!
    Enjoyed your post very much.

    Reply
  50. I love history. I understand you completely when you talk about atmosphere. A number of times over the past few years, when I visit my home place I’ve had the feeling I’m not alone.
    It’s a small hundred year old cottage in the countryside and was belong to my great grand parents originally and my great grandmother was a character by all accounts. A tough lady who went through terrible hardship and heart ache in her life.
    When I stand in a certain place I’m back in a sunny morning with the cock crowing and it’s just a ‘feeling’ I get. Hard to explain but I feel like I’ve lived it before and that the house is as it was before my Dad extended it.They do say there’s lots of magic in Ireland!
    Enjoyed your post very much.

    Reply
  51. Hi Teresa. What a lovely story about the cottage (which sounds gorgeous even without the mystical atmosphere.) I loved hearing about that sense of past you get in that special place. Thank you!

    Reply
  52. Hi Teresa. What a lovely story about the cottage (which sounds gorgeous even without the mystical atmosphere.) I loved hearing about that sense of past you get in that special place. Thank you!

    Reply
  53. Hi Teresa. What a lovely story about the cottage (which sounds gorgeous even without the mystical atmosphere.) I loved hearing about that sense of past you get in that special place. Thank you!

    Reply
  54. Hi Teresa. What a lovely story about the cottage (which sounds gorgeous even without the mystical atmosphere.) I loved hearing about that sense of past you get in that special place. Thank you!

    Reply
  55. Hi Teresa. What a lovely story about the cottage (which sounds gorgeous even without the mystical atmosphere.) I loved hearing about that sense of past you get in that special place. Thank you!

    Reply
  56. I have been to the Alamo and the Gettysburg battle fields. In both places, I felt strong emotions. It was as though each of the men who had died there were still there to speak to me.

    Reply
  57. I have been to the Alamo and the Gettysburg battle fields. In both places, I felt strong emotions. It was as though each of the men who had died there were still there to speak to me.

    Reply
  58. I have been to the Alamo and the Gettysburg battle fields. In both places, I felt strong emotions. It was as though each of the men who had died there were still there to speak to me.

    Reply
  59. I have been to the Alamo and the Gettysburg battle fields. In both places, I felt strong emotions. It was as though each of the men who had died there were still there to speak to me.

    Reply
  60. I have been to the Alamo and the Gettysburg battle fields. In both places, I felt strong emotions. It was as though each of the men who had died there were still there to speak to me.

    Reply
  61. I have also visited the Alamo and the walls seemed to speak to me of the pain and sorrow of that place. However the place that struck me the most was Vicksburg. I felt all the emotions present at the battlefield but also in many of the old homes It was an great trip for me to take and I found it odd at the time that I was the only one in the family that was picking up the emotions and seeming to truly see the past and those who lived those times. Sometimes I feel that iit is a gift to be able to see and feel the history in a place or an object

    Reply
  62. I have also visited the Alamo and the walls seemed to speak to me of the pain and sorrow of that place. However the place that struck me the most was Vicksburg. I felt all the emotions present at the battlefield but also in many of the old homes It was an great trip for me to take and I found it odd at the time that I was the only one in the family that was picking up the emotions and seeming to truly see the past and those who lived those times. Sometimes I feel that iit is a gift to be able to see and feel the history in a place or an object

    Reply
  63. I have also visited the Alamo and the walls seemed to speak to me of the pain and sorrow of that place. However the place that struck me the most was Vicksburg. I felt all the emotions present at the battlefield but also in many of the old homes It was an great trip for me to take and I found it odd at the time that I was the only one in the family that was picking up the emotions and seeming to truly see the past and those who lived those times. Sometimes I feel that iit is a gift to be able to see and feel the history in a place or an object

    Reply
  64. I have also visited the Alamo and the walls seemed to speak to me of the pain and sorrow of that place. However the place that struck me the most was Vicksburg. I felt all the emotions present at the battlefield but also in many of the old homes It was an great trip for me to take and I found it odd at the time that I was the only one in the family that was picking up the emotions and seeming to truly see the past and those who lived those times. Sometimes I feel that iit is a gift to be able to see and feel the history in a place or an object

    Reply
  65. I have also visited the Alamo and the walls seemed to speak to me of the pain and sorrow of that place. However the place that struck me the most was Vicksburg. I felt all the emotions present at the battlefield but also in many of the old homes It was an great trip for me to take and I found it odd at the time that I was the only one in the family that was picking up the emotions and seeming to truly see the past and those who lived those times. Sometimes I feel that iit is a gift to be able to see and feel the history in a place or an object

    Reply
  66. There are definitely places where I have felt a strong sense of atmosphere and history. The first one that comes to mind is Castle of Finland in Helsinki. And another one I must mention was the Church of Kiihtelysvaara -until some local nut decided to burn it down last September. It was a bit of a shock for all of us here. It was a pretty, nearly 250 years old wood church:
    https://www.joensuunevl.fi/etusivu/virastopalvelut/kiinteisto/kirkot/kiihtelysvaaran+kirkko+360/
    https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-10418691

    Reply
  67. There are definitely places where I have felt a strong sense of atmosphere and history. The first one that comes to mind is Castle of Finland in Helsinki. And another one I must mention was the Church of Kiihtelysvaara -until some local nut decided to burn it down last September. It was a bit of a shock for all of us here. It was a pretty, nearly 250 years old wood church:
    https://www.joensuunevl.fi/etusivu/virastopalvelut/kiinteisto/kirkot/kiihtelysvaaran+kirkko+360/
    https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-10418691

    Reply
  68. There are definitely places where I have felt a strong sense of atmosphere and history. The first one that comes to mind is Castle of Finland in Helsinki. And another one I must mention was the Church of Kiihtelysvaara -until some local nut decided to burn it down last September. It was a bit of a shock for all of us here. It was a pretty, nearly 250 years old wood church:
    https://www.joensuunevl.fi/etusivu/virastopalvelut/kiinteisto/kirkot/kiihtelysvaaran+kirkko+360/
    https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-10418691

    Reply
  69. There are definitely places where I have felt a strong sense of atmosphere and history. The first one that comes to mind is Castle of Finland in Helsinki. And another one I must mention was the Church of Kiihtelysvaara -until some local nut decided to burn it down last September. It was a bit of a shock for all of us here. It was a pretty, nearly 250 years old wood church:
    https://www.joensuunevl.fi/etusivu/virastopalvelut/kiinteisto/kirkot/kiihtelysvaaran+kirkko+360/
    https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-10418691

    Reply
  70. There are definitely places where I have felt a strong sense of atmosphere and history. The first one that comes to mind is Castle of Finland in Helsinki. And another one I must mention was the Church of Kiihtelysvaara -until some local nut decided to burn it down last September. It was a bit of a shock for all of us here. It was a pretty, nearly 250 years old wood church:
    https://www.joensuunevl.fi/etusivu/virastopalvelut/kiinteisto/kirkot/kiihtelysvaaran+kirkko+360/
    https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-10418691

    Reply
  71. Culloden gave me the chills. I started to walk the battlefield and had to turn back. I have no idea if I had any ancestors there (and if I did, they could have been fighting for the English side), but the “battle” was so stupid and the massacre was so horrendous, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Gettysburg is very moving, but in a different way, perhaps because of its association with Lincoln and his Address.

    Reply
  72. Culloden gave me the chills. I started to walk the battlefield and had to turn back. I have no idea if I had any ancestors there (and if I did, they could have been fighting for the English side), but the “battle” was so stupid and the massacre was so horrendous, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Gettysburg is very moving, but in a different way, perhaps because of its association with Lincoln and his Address.

    Reply
  73. Culloden gave me the chills. I started to walk the battlefield and had to turn back. I have no idea if I had any ancestors there (and if I did, they could have been fighting for the English side), but the “battle” was so stupid and the massacre was so horrendous, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Gettysburg is very moving, but in a different way, perhaps because of its association with Lincoln and his Address.

    Reply
  74. Culloden gave me the chills. I started to walk the battlefield and had to turn back. I have no idea if I had any ancestors there (and if I did, they could have been fighting for the English side), but the “battle” was so stupid and the massacre was so horrendous, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Gettysburg is very moving, but in a different way, perhaps because of its association with Lincoln and his Address.

    Reply
  75. Culloden gave me the chills. I started to walk the battlefield and had to turn back. I have no idea if I had any ancestors there (and if I did, they could have been fighting for the English side), but the “battle” was so stupid and the massacre was so horrendous, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Gettysburg is very moving, but in a different way, perhaps because of its association with Lincoln and his Address.

    Reply
  76. Battlefields can have such a powerful aura, can’t they, Linda. I had the same experience as you at Culloden; there was such a palpable sense of misery in the air there. I would love to visit Gettysburg for lots of reasons.

    Reply
  77. Battlefields can have such a powerful aura, can’t they, Linda. I had the same experience as you at Culloden; there was such a palpable sense of misery in the air there. I would love to visit Gettysburg for lots of reasons.

    Reply
  78. Battlefields can have such a powerful aura, can’t they, Linda. I had the same experience as you at Culloden; there was such a palpable sense of misery in the air there. I would love to visit Gettysburg for lots of reasons.

    Reply
  79. Battlefields can have such a powerful aura, can’t they, Linda. I had the same experience as you at Culloden; there was such a palpable sense of misery in the air there. I would love to visit Gettysburg for lots of reasons.

    Reply
  80. Battlefields can have such a powerful aura, can’t they, Linda. I had the same experience as you at Culloden; there was such a palpable sense of misery in the air there. I would love to visit Gettysburg for lots of reasons.

    Reply
  81. Hi Minna
    Thank you for sharing those links. What a horrible thing to happen to the Church of Kiihtelysvaara. it looked so beautiful! I hope to visit Finalnd one day soon to see these wonderful historic sites for myself.

    Reply
  82. Hi Minna
    Thank you for sharing those links. What a horrible thing to happen to the Church of Kiihtelysvaara. it looked so beautiful! I hope to visit Finalnd one day soon to see these wonderful historic sites for myself.

    Reply
  83. Hi Minna
    Thank you for sharing those links. What a horrible thing to happen to the Church of Kiihtelysvaara. it looked so beautiful! I hope to visit Finalnd one day soon to see these wonderful historic sites for myself.

    Reply
  84. Hi Minna
    Thank you for sharing those links. What a horrible thing to happen to the Church of Kiihtelysvaara. it looked so beautiful! I hope to visit Finalnd one day soon to see these wonderful historic sites for myself.

    Reply
  85. Hi Minna
    Thank you for sharing those links. What a horrible thing to happen to the Church of Kiihtelysvaara. it looked so beautiful! I hope to visit Finalnd one day soon to see these wonderful historic sites for myself.

    Reply
  86. The most evocative place I have ever visited is the Old City of Jerusalem. I was especially entranced by the wall around the city, and the various gates; Lion’s Gate, Damascus Gate, Jaffa Gate. Even for a person without strong religious feelings, it’s easy to understand how people can be struck by what is known as “Jerusalem Syndrome”. It has a very, very, powerful atmosphere.

    Reply
  87. The most evocative place I have ever visited is the Old City of Jerusalem. I was especially entranced by the wall around the city, and the various gates; Lion’s Gate, Damascus Gate, Jaffa Gate. Even for a person without strong religious feelings, it’s easy to understand how people can be struck by what is known as “Jerusalem Syndrome”. It has a very, very, powerful atmosphere.

    Reply
  88. The most evocative place I have ever visited is the Old City of Jerusalem. I was especially entranced by the wall around the city, and the various gates; Lion’s Gate, Damascus Gate, Jaffa Gate. Even for a person without strong religious feelings, it’s easy to understand how people can be struck by what is known as “Jerusalem Syndrome”. It has a very, very, powerful atmosphere.

    Reply
  89. The most evocative place I have ever visited is the Old City of Jerusalem. I was especially entranced by the wall around the city, and the various gates; Lion’s Gate, Damascus Gate, Jaffa Gate. Even for a person without strong religious feelings, it’s easy to understand how people can be struck by what is known as “Jerusalem Syndrome”. It has a very, very, powerful atmosphere.

    Reply
  90. The most evocative place I have ever visited is the Old City of Jerusalem. I was especially entranced by the wall around the city, and the various gates; Lion’s Gate, Damascus Gate, Jaffa Gate. Even for a person without strong religious feelings, it’s easy to understand how people can be struck by what is known as “Jerusalem Syndrome”. It has a very, very, powerful atmosphere.

    Reply
  91. Well, it remains to be seen what kind of new church we’ll have in my home village. There should be a new one within next 2-3 years. The bell tower didn’t burn, so I imagine it won’t be TOO different from the church that burnt down. I’ve heard there has already been some donations for building the new church, even from other countries.

    Reply
  92. Well, it remains to be seen what kind of new church we’ll have in my home village. There should be a new one within next 2-3 years. The bell tower didn’t burn, so I imagine it won’t be TOO different from the church that burnt down. I’ve heard there has already been some donations for building the new church, even from other countries.

    Reply
  93. Well, it remains to be seen what kind of new church we’ll have in my home village. There should be a new one within next 2-3 years. The bell tower didn’t burn, so I imagine it won’t be TOO different from the church that burnt down. I’ve heard there has already been some donations for building the new church, even from other countries.

    Reply
  94. Well, it remains to be seen what kind of new church we’ll have in my home village. There should be a new one within next 2-3 years. The bell tower didn’t burn, so I imagine it won’t be TOO different from the church that burnt down. I’ve heard there has already been some donations for building the new church, even from other countries.

    Reply
  95. Well, it remains to be seen what kind of new church we’ll have in my home village. There should be a new one within next 2-3 years. The bell tower didn’t burn, so I imagine it won’t be TOO different from the church that burnt down. I’ve heard there has already been some donations for building the new church, even from other countries.

    Reply

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