Byways in British Archaeology


By Walter Johnson

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The following chapters, though superficially presenting the appearance of disconnected essays, really possess a strong bond of continuity. Running through the whole, implied, where not actually expressed, will be found an insistence on the principle which, in a former work, I ventured to call folk-memory. This folk-memory-unconsciously, for the most part, but sometimes with open ceremony-keeps alive those popular beliefs and practices which are individually called survivals. With some of these legacies from the past the present volume deals. To a large extent the studies are connected with the church and churchyard. The sections which treat of pagan sites, orientation, and burial customs, embody the results of observations relating to some hundreds of buildings in all parts of England and Wales. The chapters on "The FolkLore of the Cardinal Points" and "The Labour'd Ox" partially, at least, break virgin soil. In "The Churchyard Yew" are set down inferences drawn from many years of investigation, the literary side of which has been rendered difficult by the existence, in various modern works, of unfounded statements and hypothetical references. The remainder of the book treats of somewhat more familiar themes, though it is hoped that fresh outlooks are suggested.

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Byways in British Archaeology