Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Horsingdon Transmissions No.173: Ancient Springs, Unsated Hungers

The stream which emerges from this old brickwork duct - feeding the Grand Union Canal as it flows past Horsingdon Hill - has acquired something of a macabre reputation locally: there have been a number of accounts of late-night passersby having witnessed something skin to a thin, scaly arm bearing a three-fingered, webbed claw emerging from the conduit, groping around blindly as if in search of something.

The building of this this section of the canal in the early part of the 19th Century necessitated the disturbance of a nearby neolithic site - at the centre of which lay a small sacred spring from which the feeder stream originates. Local legends holds that, in ancient times, sacrifice was regularly made at the spring to propitiate that which dwelt within - lest it seek more regular sustanence from amongst the nearby population.

The cessation of such rites is, perhaps, to be expected in the face of the inevitable advance of modernity; nonetheless, there are things within the darkness for whom the reasoned light of that modernity holds no meaning; things which, once disturbed and denied their due, will never again rest until their unspeakable appetites are sated.

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