The Christ's Oak Line
Ley Lines/Earth Energy Lines
Many people have heard at least something about Ley Lines without realising exactly what they are. So just what are Ley Lines? They are sites of ceremonial and cultural interest aligned along straight lines that stretch for dozens, some say even hundreds, of miles. The term "ley lines" was coined by Alfred Watkins in 1921 when explaining his theory that ancient sites around Britain had actually been constructed or formed giving alignments between and across the inhabited landscape of Britain. The sites mentioned include Stone Circles, Standing Stones, Long Barrows, Cairns, Burial Mounds and Churches. Whilst accepting that Ley lines exist, sceptics argue that if you place enough points on a map then you will be bound to find some straight lines purely at random.
In 1936 the idea was put forward that Ley lines were “lines of power” linking prehistoric sites, although what sorts of ‘powers’ might be involved were not specified. The scene was thus set for the elevation of ancient trackways to something more spiritual.
The Christ's Oak Line
The only Ley Line in Shropshire passes through Pulverbatch with the church as a ’marker’. A Mrs John Clare first proposed the line mentioned in 'Ley Hunter's Manual' by Alfred Watkins, saying it ran from ‘Lord’s Hill, Longmynd’, to Buildwas Abbey via the Motte at Castle Pulverbatch, St Edith’s church in Churton and Upper Moat. However, the radio broadcaster John Timpson, in his book ‘Timpson’s Leylines’, found several of her markers – such as the motte – were not actually on the line. Timpson describes a bit of the history of the church and particularly mentions the significance in ley hunting terms of the church standing on a hillside and having a circular churchyard. It has been argued that this is an indication the original site was protected in pagan times because it had some sacred role.
The next marker on the line is Upper Moat, then the ford on Cound Brook and the crossroads at Pitchford. Timpson renames it 'The Christ's Oak Line' after the old oak where the original church in Cressage was sited, as he identifies some different markers to Mrs Clare, in order to get a straight line from Leigh Manor - his preferred starting point - to Buildwas Abbey.