Monday, July 11, 2011

The turf maze at Wing

The maze at Wing is one of eight remaining turf labyrinths in England. It stands at the side of a minor road just outside the village. I love the way you can come across such rarities and find them well tended but hardly signposted.

As to how old it is... Britain's Historic Sites says it "may be well over 2500 years old", the Stone Circles site says it is Medieval, while the interpretation board beside the maze makes much of the Viking derivation of the village's name.

Anyway, we know Shakespeare was familiar with turf labyrinths, even if he knew them in decline:
"The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud
and the quaint mazes in the wanton green
for lack of tread are undistinguishable."
Certainly, the Genuki page for Wing says:
By the 19th century the maze seems to have lost some of its magic, for the Leicester and Rutland Directory of 1846 talks of: "An ancient Maze, in which the rustics run at the parish feast".


MattNic said...

That is rather cool. Having perked my interest I went and had a look at the English Heritage National Monuments Record entry for the site, which suggests it may be 12th Century and reports that the design exactly matches earlier mazes laid out in the floors of St. Quentin, Chartres, and Poitiers Cathedrals.

Can't believe I have never heard of it before, will definitely have to visit this...cheers for blogging it's existence!

Anonymous said...

More than a third of England's universities have had their plans to charge £9,000 for every course officially approved.

come on Lib Dem blogfather... get with it!

Anonymous said...

No matter how much money any English University might charge they will still be able to do nothing for the products of English state schools.

Martin Brookes @oakhamuk said...

I was amazed when I came across this maze at Wing about a year ago, many times before friends had driven past and I had not noticed it. Good photograph.,_Rutland

Did your trip take you to Wing Hall, I enjoyed the cafe in the garden.

They have a nice little food shop for the village and campers.

Jonathan Calder said...

Yes, I got to the cafe and shop at Wing Hall. The pub does very good food too.