This fortnight’s blog concerns itself with the rediscovery of ‘The Kingston Zodiac’, a vast series of roads, rivers, contours and earthworks, some natural, some artificial, which covers much of what is now South and South West London: an area encompassing Wimbledon, Richmond, Kew, Sheen, Wandsworth, Cheam, Banstead and Kingston itself; as well as numerous other locations too extensive to give in full here. Although much written and spoken speculation has been generated on the subject since its original discovery some thirty or more years ago, the exact origins of this vast prehistoric temple, with particular reference as to who built it and why, are still largely obscure.
The subject of a highly controversial book by Kingston based author, artist and astrologer Mary Caine, whose books have been widely available in a whole variety of formats since the nineteen seventies, the Kingston Zodiac was recently the subject of a highly original dvd produced in conjunction with veteran underground film maker and one time ‘Here & Now Band’ roadie Jonathan Barnett. Although originally discovered as a result of researching into the subject of local inn signs and their related mythologies, the existence and layout of this curious phenomenon, which has attracted the attention of that veritable walking encyclopedia of Forteana Bob Rickard (founding editor of ‘Fortean Times’), was actually preserved in folk song and nursery rhyme long before its recent rediscovery by Mary Caine.
Perhaps the best example of this strange and mysterious folk tradition is the nursery ryhme ballad ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’, which preserves hidden references to the somewhat unconventional layout of this Zodiac in some of its seemingly nonsensical verses: which are in reality a ‘Da Vinci-esque’ code setting out the
composition and nature of many of these somewhat unconventionally placed effigies in the exact order in which they appear in this Zodiac.
‘Hey Diddle Diddle,
The Cat and the Fiddle,
The Cow Jumped Over the Moon,
The Little Dog Laughed to See Such Fun,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon’
How many of us can remember that little ditty from our own respective childhoods? But as to its real origins, what are we ever told?
In the Kingston Zodiac ‘The Cat and the Fiddle’ are the Leo and Virgo effigies respectively, whilst the Taurean Effigy, the Cow, can be clearly demonstrated to be jumping over the Cancerian Effigy, a vast lunar boat, in the fashion of a ‘Cow Jumping Over the Moon’ directly adjacent to a curious ‘Little Dog’ Effigy; which sits clearly over the Star Constellation ‘Canis Minor’; when superimposed over a scaled down Astrological planisphere; such as the one attached in the images album attached to this installment of my ongoing blog.
And, whilst this ‘Little Dog’ laughs, to see such fun, the dish, or Cancerian boat, has a spoon like human Gemini figure located in and adjacent to it, in the rounding off of this curious verse. Interested sceptics should check out the web for the availiability of the range of books, videos and dvds which have been made on this subject, stills from which are likewise attached.
These last mentioned items, which clearly show two of the effigies on Kingston’s Glastonbury counterpart, previously discovered by the author and artist Katherine Maltwood, in the opening decades of the last century, as viewed from the air, are taken from Mary Caine and Jonathan Barnett’s previously produced film on ‘The Glastonbury Zodiac’, another absolute must for enthusiasts of Forteana.
For more on this and many other curious London Legends, check out the premiere public performance of my latest dvd ‘Legendary London: London’s Living Da Vinci Code’ at next month’s Portobello Film and Video Festival where it’s due to be shown on 6th December at ‘The Inn on the Green’ located at 3 Thorpe Close, London W10: Full details from the Festival Website at:
Watch this space for details as regards future showings and further availability!