In 1220 the Cathedral at Old Sarum was pulled down and the present Salisbury Cathedral was erected at New Sarum to the south. It is said that the exact site on Merifield Lawn was determined by the fall of an arrow shot from a long bow from the top of Old Sarum mound. Yet the location of Salisbury Cathedral could hardly have been as much a matter of chance as the story of the arrow suggests. It has often been remarked, by Sir Norman Lockyer amongst others, that the Cathedral lies on a straight line drawn through Stonehenge, Old Sarum and the edge of Clearbury Camp.
Perhaps the Cathedral was moved along a fixed line at certain intervals for astrological reasons, as we know was done in China and Central America, and this line may have been further extended: for going north from Stonehenge, it passes over St. Anne’s Hill near Devizes and continues over Cirencester Church and Cleeve Hill to many other hills and sacred centres as far as Dufton Fell in Westmorland. The golden arrow, or arrow of Apollo, which the druids possessed and with the aid of which they were said to fly across the country, may, Stukeley suggests, have been a loadstone, for it seems that like the Chinese they used a form of geomancer’s compass in locating their sites. The story of the arrow flying down from Stonehenge could well illustrate the use of this instrument.
Three of the grid locations on the extended line have subsequently been given as:
Cirencester Church SP 02354 02093
Cleeve Hill SO 98571 26388
Dufton Fell NY 71104 32137
Length 409km. Bearing 173°/353°.
JOHN MICHELL’S OLD SARUM LEY
Extracts from his New View Over Atlantis, 1982.