Then and Now (9)
Haven’t had one of these for ages. This is the rustic fountain near the top of Lovers Walk in Greenwich park. I don’t know exactly when the photo was taken but this cars was sent on February 12th, 1909 as a birthday card to Violet from ‘Aunt’.
I tend to forget this funny little confection exists, tucked away as it is in a little dingly dell, and it does look like it’s been there forever.
Certainly if you read Chapter Four of the extraordinary Goddesses, Guardians and Groves, by Jack Gale, a book I thoroughly recommend for its utterly unique take on Greenwich’s spiritual history, you’d learn that, according to psychics, the stones that were used to create it in the 1860s (as a possible replacement for the Keepers Cottage nearby, which had served refreshments but was being demolished) had been moved to Greenwich Park long before that.
Gale calls it the Motherstone Fountain and tells us that psychic Carole Young, when tuning into the stones in 1988 had an acute awareness of the Bluebell Hill area of Kent, where you’ll find several magaliths, including Kit Coty’s House (well worth a trip BTW). She also felt that the site had ‘a powerful influence on its surroundings, sensing a brooding , serious and powerful atmosphere.” Indeed, she felt ‘a sense of Albion’s destiny; a place important to Britain itself; also the curious awareness of a prince returning to his consort.’
On top of that she sensed Greenwich Fair, subtle earth energies and a mysterious ‘Man in Black’ (we’ll deal with him another day, eh…)
Blimey. I recommend you read the book for more extraordinary insights into Greenwich’s spiritual side; today, I want to look at the postcard itself.
I was keen to get a shot from the same angle, but when I got there, I found I couldn’t. There was a walloping great nettle patch in my way and although my friend told me it wasn’t stinging season, I wasn’t taking any chances.
At first I thought the negative had been printed in reverse, but no – there was the path of Lovers Walk, and the trees, though slightly larger around the girth (aren’t we all…) were still there.
Perhaps there was an official path back in Edwardian times, or maybe the little unofficial trackway was a bit wide then. I guess the picture could have been taken at a different time of year when the nettles weren’t waist high.
Whatever – this is the closest I got to the exact angle:
It’s still a charming, quiet, slightly mysterious part of the park, near an even more charming, quiet and slightly mysterious dell. In fact I actually think it looks better now than it did a hundred years ago – the greenery and slightly overgrown-ness suits it well.
Even if you don’t buy Jack Gale’s pagan interpretations of the stones, it’s worth a visit. Not that I recommend the water these days…
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