Rods, pendulum or just the mind.

This is serious stuff.

Greatest respect to Tom Graves who I finally met earlier in 2008
Possible article for BSD - contact Dudley Wheeler 1999
How I got involved
I think the whole sequence of events began when I bought a copy of
Mysterious Britain while living in Birmingham in the late 1970's. I still have the
original copy on my bookshelf and occasionally flick through its well-thumbed
and peeling pages to remind me where much of my inspiration came from.
Mysterious Britain was an original gazetteer of prehistoric sites, churches and
folklore; it introduced me to the work of Alfred Watkins and his theories of 'old
straight tracks', and for the first time made me aware of dowsing. Janet and
Colin Bord (1977, p3) referred to Tom Lethbridge and his pendulum
experiments at the Merry Maidens stone circle in Cornwall, and gave
anecdotal evidence of dowsers being repelled by one of the Harold's Stones,
Monmouthshire (ibid, p28.) Subjects such as ghosts, UFO's, Mazes and
pagan traditions made this little book a powerful and irresistible read for
someone living in an urban environment. The notion of dowsing intrigued me
the most, but the opportunity didn't arise to try it out until I returned to my
native Derbyshire in 1981. My friend Paul Limb and I had spent four years
together at Art College and had a mutual interest in the paranormal. I had
made a pair of angle-rods, enthused about the possibility of dowsing, and
Paul had the means of getting us into the 'stone circle' country of the Peak
District. Paul's VW Beetle (affectionately known as 'Snowflake') helped us
reach some of the most remote sites of Derbyshire, in a dramatic range of
weather conditions. Armed with a copy of Stone Circles of the Peak, we
ticked-off each site having visited them, dutifully waving rods over their faint,
heather covered remains. What were we doing, and what was to be
achieved? I do recall once following a strong water reaction across Eyam
Moor which, passed through 'Wet Withers' (SK. 2255.7900) stone circle and
emerged from the east-facing outcrop as a gushing spring.
About the same time, I joined Derbyshire Archaeological Society and helped
with a range of fieldwork projects. Don Farnsworth, who was the Chairman at
the time, had instigated a search for the true route of the Roman road, known
as 'Long Lane' which, extended westwards from Derby. A huge trench
designed to reveal a metalled track found nothing but virgin Keuper Marl clay.
I tentatively suggested to Don that maybe rods could find the feature, having
recently read Plummer's account in (in Graves 1980, pp31-9). Ushered into
the field to the north of Mackworth parish church, I proceeded to mark out
(unwittingly) a variety of buildings which, belonged to the former medieval
village (Cowell in Barker & Fowkes 1981, pp97-9). No Roman road was found
at that time, but one of the buildings I detected was partially excavated and
proved to exist. The area chosen for a test pit was prompted by my report of
an unexplained dowsing reaction - this transpired to be a human burial that
pre-dated the exposed structure. The Roman road was located at a later date.
Another D.A.S. 'Sharrow Hall' project involved surveying a medieval moat which, once
enclosed a known manor house.
All documentary evidence was withheld from
me and no archaeological investigations had been previously conducted. My
first dowsing scans were done remotely using maps at home; these consisted
of a series map dowses mailed in a weekly sequence. On site, a surveyor
watched my activities with a degree of scepticism, but who acted wisely and quickly when I fell unconscious following a convulsive seizure. I remember the
rods shaking uncontrollably having pegged-out a series of suspected post-
holes representing the building. I also recall the experience of having what
seemed to be a blanket thrown over me; followed by a feeling of utter despair
which, lasted for many days after.
Apart from joining Derbyshire Archaeological Society, I also made links with
the 'Derbyshire Dowsers' who proved to be long-standing friends and the
subject of various field tests.
This group engaged in a survey of another medieval moat site (Cubley), in
conjunction which an adult education project using primitive resistivity
equipment. The two factions never really interacted with each other, largely
due to the appalling weather conditions. However, the results proved to be
very impressive and supported the validity of dowsing in the field.
Why are we dowsing
What do we hope to achieve
Barnatt, J., 1978. Stone Circles of the Peak. Turnstone Books, London.
Bord, J. and C., 1977. Mysterious Britain. Paladin. St, Albans.
Barker, G. and Fowkes, D.V. (eds), 1981. 'Kirk Langley, Mackworth and Horsley: Aspects
of Medieval Settlement.' The Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol CI
Graves, T (ed), 1980. Dowsing and Archaeology. Turnstone Books. London

p18 The Sunday Telegraph. March 5, 1995
Astronomer divinesthe secret of dowsing

tion field and a particle
called the "dowson"
may lie behind the strange
centuries-old art of dowsing,
says an eminent physicist.
Despite dowsing's accu-
racy and widespread use, lit-
tle research has gone into the
phenomenon, which has
often been passed off as
being of psychic origin.
But a recent meeting of the
Institute of Physics in Edin-
burgh has revealed that
experiments carried out over
the past six years by Profes-
sor Vincent Reddish, former
Regius Professor of Astron-
omy at Edinburgh and
Astronomer Royal for Scot-
land, may have shed some
light on how dowsing works.
Dowsers use shaped dows-
ing rods which can twitch
violently when they are
moved over buried sources of
water or certain minerals.
They have been so accurate
that they are commonly used
by the water and electricity
utilities, and even oil com-
panies searching for pipe-
lines, although none of these
advertise the fact. For, until
now, dowsing has not come
into the "respectable"
science category.
Prof Reddish, 68, was
introduced to the dowsing

Strange particles dubbed
'Dowsons' give a clue to
the riddle of the rods
phenomenon while builders
were looking for a drain on
his property in the
"When I first saw it done,"
he says, "I was very scepti-
cal, and watching like a
hawk. The thing that
impressed me was that the
effect was strong, and it
looked like a physical one.
The workman made a mark
with his boot, got a pick and
found the pipe exactly where
he said it would be. I tried it
too, and got a similar
Prof Reddish took dowsing
seriously and what followed
was a classic piece of scien-
tific detective work. He dis-
covered that almost any
linear structure, including
overhead cables and pipes of
virtually any material,
whether full or empty of
water, appeared to cause the
dowsing rods to cross.
However, he found that
putting a second linear struc-
ture near the first — a pipe
under a power cable, for

instance — completely
changed the effect. Instead
of getting a single dowsing
reaction immediately below
the structure, he found sev-
eral spaced at roughly three-
metre intervals in a classic
interference pattern.
By changing the geometry
of the two linear structures a
different pattern was
observed, and when the
second tube was removed it
took over 15 minutes for the
interference pattern to disap-
pear. This interference
effect, says Prof Reddish,
points to the existence of
some sort of steady and uni-
form radiation field sur-
rounding the buried objects.
As it seems to exist for
both metals and non-metals.
some sort of electromagnetic
force is unlikely. Instead,
Prof Reddish suggests, -it
may be due to the presence of
groups of as yet undiscov-
ered particles — which he
jokingly calls "dowsons" —
on the objects, which pro-
duce a field rather like the
electric charges on a balloon
rubbed on a sweater.
Whatever these dowsons
are, tests suggest that their
effects are blocked by alu-
minium. When Prof Reddish
asked regular dowsers to
wrap their feet in aluminium

foil, which completely cov-
ered the soles of their shoes,
he found that this stopped
the rods crossing.
The test was repeated by
eight different people inde-
pendently who all got the
same result. They also found
that if there was a small hole
in the aluminium insulation
the rod-crossing returned.
One dowser, Ron Halliday,
asked by The Sunday Tele-
graph to try the experiment,
said: "When I put the alu-
minium on my feet it stopped
the result stone dead. The
rods just would not cross."
Prof Reddish says: "The
strong indication is that alu-
minium — an effective elec-
trical conductor — is
somehow acting as an insula-
tor against the dowson.
"There is considerable inter-
est by physicists in finding-
the dowson. Someone will
probably get a Nobel Prize
for it.
"Scientists are worried
that looking at dowsing could
damage their professional
reputation, but my conclu-
sions are based on simple
observation. I would be
happy to be proved wrong —
if someone can find a better
John Hancox



Ang1esey, Gwynnedd, N, Wales. SH 508.702

Bryn Celli Ddu (The Mound in the Dark Grove) today stands in open pasture on
the eastern side of Anglesey. The site appears to have been in use over a long
period and adapted by a sequence of cultures

The visible remains owe much to restoration earlier this century and
represent the last phase in the site’s development.
The site lies within an area of gently undulating landscape composed of
gravels and outcrops of grit stone and schist. The nearest surface water is
Afon Braint - a stream 500 ft SE of the monument.

As early as 1723, successive antiquarians remarked upon the gradual
destruction of Bryn Celli. Two Hundred years elapsed before W.J, Hemp carried
out restoration work; his investigations revealed the existence of an earlier
structure (henge/stone circle) partially destroyed and covered by the megalithic
cairn, the foundations of which were laid within the henge ditch.
Central to this circle existed a 5ft deep ritual pit which had been scorched
and contained charcoal, un-burnt hazel, cremated human bone, a human right ear-
bone and two pieces of Jasper. The whole was covered with an infill of clay
and stones and apparently served as ballast for an upright post or menhir.
The excavated condition of the stone circle suggests that its construction was
ended prematurely and subsequently vandalized to create the later cairn. It is
apparent that a geometric ground plan was being employed which links each
stone/hole with an opposing member using a very precise centre point sited
within the ritual pit at the position ‘W’ once marked by a post or stone.

The central axis created by extending a line from stone ‘h’ through
'W' and beyond, was adhered to by the cairn builders in that the chamber
passageway runs in conformity with the line.

The ritual pit and contents were carefully covered by a slab of
schist which in turn was partially covered with earth, followed by the laying
of a grit stone slab inscribed with arcane flowing patterns,
The carvings on the 'Pattern Stone' appeared crisp and un-weathered; this may
suggest that it once stood as part of the stone circle and was toppled soon
after its erection' or that it was specifically carved with the intention of
being hidden - this practice appears to have been popular during the
megalithic period.

The polygonal chamber constructed of schist slabs, and its
connecting passage hold further mysteries, the most striking being the ‘Pillar
Stone'. This single smoothed pillar of grit stone has the texture of petrified
Directly opposite the pillar is a roughly carved anti-clockwise spiral worked
into slab No.4; also there is a narrow shelf to be found halfway up No.2.
The passage has a curious low stone bench along the northern wall
opposite which stand two features described as 'Bætyls' in the official
literature; these consist of two pointed stones each 2ft high and occupying slight
recesses either side of stone 14. Further along the passage towards the
entrance are two recesses on opposing sides.

The entrance has seen much activity involving fire, and various pits
have been dug to receive cremated remains. Immediately beyond the entrance
stood a structure composed of both stone and timber - one interpretation may
be that of a mortuary where corpses lay until reduced to bone.

At a distance of about 85ft SW of the centre was discovered tenuous
evidence of an outer circle of stones such can be found at Newgrange. A pit
4’6“ deep lined with flat stones and containng charcoal was excavated,
Rowlands stated In 1723 that the site consisted of two Carnedds (cairns)
within a few paces of one another, and that one cairn was ‘somewhat broke and
pitted into on one side, where the stones had been carry'd away‘, The other
cairn he claimed, was virtually destroyed for walling, and that within the
space occupying the two cairns were 'two standing columns erected between

The remains of Cairn ‘B’ were excavated by R,S.Newall and
T. Lethbridge in 1930 finding only cremated human bone and flint fragments
within a small cist.
Also, during the search for further sockets of the outer circle, a section of
ditch was encountered - apparently running concentric to Cairn B.
¼ mile NW of Bryn Cel1i stands a menhir at SH 5035,7040.

As Anglesey saw the focus of Druidic activity during the Roman conquest, it is
highly likely that Bryn Celli witnessed acts of butchery against the Celts when
in AD 61 Suetonius Paulinus advanced upon the island to eradicate the powerful
This may have ended centuries of ritual activity within the monument.

A PERSONAL VISIT (September 22nd l99O)

My interest in this site stems from a series of dreams I had almost a year
prior to the visit. The dreams featured the entrance to Bryn Celli and involved
myself in some form of activity.
I was compelled to study all the archaeological data avai1able on the monument
without being fully aware why. I had somehow developed a tangible link with a
place which transcended intellectual interest - indeed, this thing was in
danger of becoming an obsession,
I experienced a sense of fulfilling a cycle when my eventual visit was
completed; this is my account of that visit,

The day prior to surveying the site, I experienced quite severe disorientation
and a series of remarkable pre-cognitive events.
The actual visit to Bryn Celli was carried out with a clear mind and a real
sense of occasion.

The monument is visible from the roadside with the interior
structure facing out from a denuded mound, looking deceptively like an
entrance. The farm track winds around forcing the visitor to enter the site correctly
with the true entrance in full view.
Having completed several circuits of the monument I settled into a dowsing
survey which involved the search for underground streams. My first reactions
proved quite alarming; I experienced an uncontrollable tremor in the right
hand/arm which lasted several minutes. Eventually, this subsided and left me to
plot a series of pronounced water-lines crossing the centre of the site, The
strongest line followed a course marked by the passage and chamber, passing
through ‘W’ and beyond stone ‘h‘,

A series of water-lines converge upon the central point originally
marked by the ritual pit, these are of an unequal number; four to the north
and six to the south - how these lines connect is unclear but their relative
depths lie tens of feet below the surface rather than at shallow depths. This
means that dowsable reactions originate in the deeper bedrock and not in the
overlying gravel layers.
Despite Hemp’s search for socket holes l, p, and r, no evidence was unearthed in
the levels investigated, Dowsing indicates that l and r were missing only by a
matter of inches, and that p and q were destroyed during the building of the
passage - leaving only weak reaction points.

I carried out a general inspection of the chamber and passage
noting a series of impressions which came to me whilst in a deep meditative
On entering the passage, I felt that the recesses either side would have once
contained human skulls, stacked one above the other facing into the passage,
The stone bench further in could have seated four or five adults - possibly
acolytes to the shamen whose business was conducted within the main chamber.
The bætyls opposite the bench are in reach and would have been used in ritual.

The Pillar Stone stands like a sentinel - more human than stone and perfectly
hidden from view until the passage has been followed to the end.
The stone was encountered by a local farmer who entered the chamber in 1777;
‘he procured a light and crept forward on hands and knees along the dreary
vault, when lo! in a chamber at further end a figure in white seemed to
forbid his approach’.
I fully appreciate the poor fellow's mistake.

Whilst standing on the precise point once occupied by the ritual pit,
I experienced a sensation of upward air-flow which eddied about my head,
(There was no breeze on that day).
It was also noted that from the central pit position, the cap of the nearby
menhlr could be observed projecting above a prominent local rock outcrop to
the NW. A preliminary astronomical study has been made of this stone, the
results at present appear inconclusive.
Another stone can be found near the lane leading to the farm.


If we ever needed a demonstration of prehistoric geomancy at work, here it is!
Thls site most likely started as a gathering point for various woodland
animals - followed later by the Neolithic tribes who must have recognized the
‘special’ quality of a single point in the landscape; This, it seems is related
to cross-flow of underground water, in a manner much publicized by Guy

This was to be developed as a ritual centre possibly marked-out by
timber posts - conforming to a sophisticated geometric principle with the
central pit containing deposits acting as a precise omphalos.
Interestingly, the cairn builders avoided incorporating the pit within the
chamber; possibly to keep knowledge of its existence available only to the

Subsequent cultures continued to appreciate the importance of the site and
elaborated upon the structure in clear stages. Even though scenes of partial
destruction occurred due to the influx of different cultures, the essence of
Bryn Ce1li remained.

During my survey, I noticed that much of the stone scattered around
had a lustrous quality owing to its mica content. This strange 'wafer-like‘
mineral has for many years been used as an insulator by the electrical
industry. Maybe this property was exploited in some way by the ancients - the
chamber forms an almost complete electrical shield.

This concept of shielding, storing and focussing may lead us to the true
purpose of Bryn Celli. Perhaps the swirling engravings of the Pattern Stone and
the enigmatic single spiral within the chamber are the nearest thing we have
to an ‘Owner’s Manual‘.

Lastly, once again we find that such a monument does not stand
alone within the landscape, but is part of a larger ritual area.
Bryn Celli Ddu is truly a ‘Place of Power’ and is worthy of further study and
admiration.icture: 'Bryn Paul Dowse - Copy.JPG' has been inserted here ##


Thanks to my patient wife Ina, and to Bob Trubshaw for his
photography and input on the astro-archaeological analysis.

NORMAN FAHY copyright 1991


Gregory, D., 1989. Wales Before 1066 - A Guide.
Gwasg Carreg Gwalch.

Henp, W.J., 1930. The chambered cairn of Bryn celli Ddu.
Archaeologia Cambrensis. 80, 179-2l4

O'Kelly, C., 1969. Bryn ceill Ddu - A Reinterpretation.
Archaeologia Cambrensls. 118, l7-48

O'Kelly, M.J., 1982. Newgrange -Archaeology, Art & Legend.
Thames & Hudson.

Newall, R.S., 1931. The smaller cairn at Bryn Ce1li Ddu
Archaeologia Cambrensis. 259-64.

Rowlands, Rev. H., 1723. Mona Antiqua Resaurata.

Steiner, R., 1982 (reprint). Man in the past, present and the Future.
Rudolf Steiner Press. 15-5O.

Underwood, G., 1969. The Pattern of the past.


An Independent View

An interesting interpretation of Welsh Megalithic tombs was proposed by the
Hungarian vlslonary Rudolf Steiner, during a visit to the region in 1923.
He wrote; ‘I do not dispute that such cromlechs had also to serve as burial
places, for at all times the most important centres of worship have been set
up over the graves of fellow men, But here, even with these simple cromlechs,
we have something further’.

Steiner insisted that a prehistoric chamber served as barrier to physical
sunlight allowing other subtle aspects of the sun's emissions to enter and to
be perceived by Druid priests in terms ‘shadow quality‘. This, he claimed gave
the builders of such structures an insight into the very mechanics of nature.


Notes on the stone circle excavation.

a. Stump, upright

b. Cluster of small stones (packing?)

c. Fragments, inclined outwards.

d. Thin slab, smashed, inclined outwards.

e. Fragments, inclined outwards.

f. 7ft slab, probably never erected by henge builders.

g. Hole only, packing stones.

h. Stump only, inclined outwards, attempted
destruction sometime before cairn was raised

1. Hole only, contained cremated remains.

j. Stump only, cremation at base, nearby pit containing
15” bætyl.

k. Stump only propped up in shallow ho1e, inclined

1. No hole, no stone.

m. Hole only.

n. 8ft slab, probably never erected by henge bui1ders,
cremation at base, partially buried prior to cairn erection.

o. Large irregular slab, apparently never erected.

East of stone ‘b’ lay three large slabs grouped together showing breaks
through each. These stones may have occupied positions within the original ring
or they never reached their destinations. It is possible that the action of
frost caused the fractures rather than wilful damage.

From Wales we suddenly end up in Derbyshire. Stanton moor.

Next to Newark in Nottinghamshire