Scargill

The building of a classical labyrinth in the Yorkshire Dales by staff and students of the University of Edinburgh.

Building the Scargill labyrinth

On the lower slopes of Scargill House estate, in Wharfedale, Yorkshire, close to the remains of an Iron Age Brigante Roundhouse you can find a 29’ classic seven- circuit limestone labyrinth.

It was built in 2005 in a clearing under trees out of roughly 600 pieces of local white limestone which had been gathered from a disused dry stone wall nearby.

The Build

It took nine people just one morning to build. We had a wheel-barrow and plenty of pairs of garden gloves! To be certain that it would fit the site one of the team had previously worked out the geometry of the labyrinth on paper.

Using coloured string and measuring canes the dimensions were transferred to the ground. Then the lines of the labyrinth were laid down lightly with the sort of paint you use to spray onto the grass of sports fields. By coffee time the pattern of the labyrinth lay before us in the grass.

The final task of the morning was to fetch the pieces of limestone and place them along the painted lines to form the permanent ‘fields’ or boundaries of the labyrinth’s path. It was a wonderful, almost meditative experience.

In just under an hour the team laid all 600 stones and the Scargill Labyrinth had come into existence.

“It was enchanting. We moved in quietness, with intent and love. The final stone closing the circle of our joy”.

An excerpt from Di Williams’s book - “Labyrinth - landscape of the soul”.

Photo credit: Di Williams


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