Should we celebrate the solstice on Capworth Street ? By David Boote
We have a range of possible origins for the Leyton alignment in that the summer sun rises in the northeast and at winter the sun sets in the southwest. With one dominating alignment it might have seemed sensible, and also respectful of the supernatural significance of that alignment, to use it as the basis for adjacent field divisions. Or the Leyton alignments may possibly be the vestiges of multiple lines of spiritual significance, as can be seen near Carnac in Brittany.
Even I can see flaws in my speculation. I am suggesting that earthworks undertaken in the Stone Age have shaped the street layout of present day Leyton. I mention another type of alignment from the Bronze Age. The only possibility that explains the three parallel boundaries between Leyton and Walthamstow is the most far-fetched, the alignments of Carnac. No trace of a causeway has been found under the marshes, or even the Roman crossing of the River Lea, but people were clearly travelling backwards and forwards in all periods. We are left guessing which routes were used most, and how they have influenced today’s geography, but perhaps we can make some informed guesses. Any development of a site on or close to the Walthamstow Slip should be preceded by an exploratory excavation.
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This article was revised on 22nd December 2008.