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 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.