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Julian's Bower

The village of Alkborough lies at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Trent and overlooks the Humber. The village's claim to fame is a bizarre circular turf maze of unknown origin.

It is known as Julian's Bower and at one time there were numerous turf mazes bearing this name or variants thereof around Britain and in Scandinavia. The maze at Alkborough is currently the only one in Britain, although there is a stone maze called "Den Julianske Borg" in Norway.

The name is believed to refer to Julian, the son of the legendary Aeneas of Troy, and the maze was known in past centuries as "The Walls of Troy".

The reason for the maze's construction remains obscure. Some believe it dates from the Roman period, others that it was carved into the turf by medieval monks as a pennance. It is quite likely, however, given the area's connection with Scandinavia and that similar mazes occur in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, that Julian's Bower may date from the Viking era.

P A McHugh

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Re: Julian's Bower

An outline of Julian's Bower can actually be seen at the top of this page, on the Mysterious Britain logo, superimposed on the picture of the British Isles. 

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Re: Julian's Bower

We really should have gotten an article up about it sooner.



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