This is the first in a series of three blog posts inspired by the Spirits of Place symposium held in Calderstones Park, Liverpool, 2nd April 2016.
Three service stations.
Three standing stones – The Tebay Three.
One journey by car from Airdrie to Liverpool.
Drawn by the spirit of a place.
-which is under lock and key.
-which is behind glass.
The Calderstones megaliths.
Point of departure
The Tebay Three, condemned to stand guard over a picnic area and access road to overflow car parks.
Three ‘standing stones’ arranged in a tight circle – a symbolic community, perhaps, but one of a very different era…. If the roof claims silently, ‘I am not a building’, the columns, portico and standing stones counterclaim ‘…but I am still a monument’, a monument incomplete, a monument barely human that yet accommodates the human (Austin 2011, 219-220).
Travels in Lounge Space, Samuel Austin’s PhD thesis.
More of a triangle than a circle. Enclosing a tiny space no larger than required for one adult to squeeze into, standing in an upright cist, shielded from the incessant back and forth of cars. Insulated from the motorway in a time capsule made of quarried stone.
A chocolate box masquerading as a postcard, retrieved from the other side of the bridge….
…and an erroneous plural….
….before carefully gathered debitage is assembled.
Calderstones – arrival
The final postcards posted – on Druids Cross Road.
Then into the vortex of Calderstones Park –
And megalithic Liverpool –
South Liverpool –
Sources and acknowledgements: Spirits of Place was dreamt up and organised by John Reppion, and my interest in Calderstones was very much inspired by his definitive article on the urban prehistory of this part of Liverpool, here reproduced in The Daily Grail. The ‘druid temple’ postcard is based on a photo from that post. The Calderstones postcard was sourced on ebay and by the time you read this will probably have been sold. The text in red pen on the back of my sent postcards is adapted from Georges Perec’s ‘Two hundred and forty-three postcards in real colour’ (1978).