Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

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Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:10 pm

This is with reference to a paper of mine, Part One of which which appeared in the April 2009 edition of Dowsing Today. Part Two will appear in July (see second post, below).

Topic now unlocked

The Sun Line - Part One - some links and info.

Dragon/Winged Serpent legends

Here's a link about a large standing stone at Aber Rhaedr. This standing stone has a dragon/winged serpent legend associated with it. The stone is about four miles west of the alignment.

Here's an old article called Dragons of the Marches.

I don't absolutely agree with everything being said here, especially:

Several pieces of evidence suggest that Britain's dragon legends were created in the early middle ages, at the time of the English invasions. For instance, they are absent from Gaelic-speaking areas; the Welsh word for dragon (gwiber) is a late borrowing from the Latin vipera. Dragon legends are uncommon in early Celtic literature. On the other hand there are abundant references to drakes or dragons in Teutonic cultures, including that of the English.

I was going to present you with something of a short thesis here as to why I think this is wrong, but it just got too long winded, so I cut it.

There's still plenty of useful stuff on this web-page. For example note the illustration of the Brinsop tympanum which shows a dragon being slain by a knight surrounded by signs of the zodiac.

For more on Welsh dragon legends, read Chris Barber's Mysterious Wales.

Chris Barber, Mysterious Wales, Chapter 10 wrote:Dragon stories can be found in many parts of Wales and it would seem that they played a large part in the folklore of the Middle Ages. Many of the stories seem to have some connection with the origin of ancient sites of worship.

Hereford Dragons

Here's a link to a site which shows a replica of the roof-boss at Hereford Cathedral, showing the Christ's Head and the three "green" dragons.

As I recall, you can't take photos inside the Cathedral without paying a pretty hefty fee and that's just for non-commercial use.

A ghost story about the Green Dragon hotel, Hereford

The Megalithic Portal page on the Rotherwas Ribbon (grid ref. is questionable)

The campaign site relating to the Rotherwas Ribbon no longer exists.

Dinedor Camp

An article about the Dawn Chorus at Dinedor Camp.

Alfred Watkins

Here's a link to a booklet by Alfred Watkins called Early British Trackways (PDF file 2.41 MB)

The Paytoe Roman road is mentioned in connection with a ley (pp. 22-23)


Here's a link about Denbigh Asylum.

Video links for the Most Haunted investigation of Denbigh Asylum

Derivation of the name, according to the BBC

Mortimer's Cross

Here's the Wikipedia entry for Sun Dogs (parhelia)

Here's a google link for the battle of Mortimer's Cross

Here's a link for the Mortimer's Cross Inn.

The decor, especially the stuffed animal trophies, are not really to my taste. There's a stuffed baby fox-cub, curled up on the bar. Eeeeewww, lovely. :shock:

I dowsed that the energy line goes right through the pub.

I first went to Mortimer's Cross back in the 1980's, which is when I took my photo of the pub-sign. It was obviously in much better condition back then and has been re-painted - a bit roughly IMHO. There's was a re-enactment of the battle, which was being filmed, at the time that I went there. Thousands died in the real thing.

Gaer Fawr

Here's a BBC report on Gaer Fawr, a huge hill-fort to the north of Welshpool.

Sun pubs

This site gives a list of Sun pubs in the U.K. Please note, as I mentioned in the paper, I excluded those called "The Rising Sun".

Here's the website link for the Sun in Clun, a pub which dates to the 15th Century. More of this place anon.

Owain Glyndwr (Owen Glendower)

Here's a link to a site illustrating the banner of Owain Glyndwr.

Sycharth Castle (N52.82455 W3.18114), a motte and bailey which was once home to Owain Glyndwr, is also very close to the Sun-line.

Here's a link for Owain Glyndwr's Mount, near Glyndyfrdwy. This mount and the one at Sycharth are both close to the alignment.

I recently (12.4.09) came across the following in Chris Barber's book, In Search of Owain Glyndwr, Chapter 3:

Chris Barber wrote:"From Nant-y-Pandy to Moel Ferna is a farm lane which after two miles becomes a quarry track and
then a miner's path. For centuries it has been known as Owain Glyndwr's way (a name given to it
long before the offical Owain Glyndwr's way) and it is said to be traceable from Sycharth in the
Severn Valley to Glyndwr's second home at Glyndyfrdwy in the Dee Valley."

:shock: :shock: :shock: :!: :!: :!:

This path is now one of the routes on the North Berwyn Way.

More on Mitchell's Fold in Part Two.

Edited by I.P. 27.10.10 - removed King Arthur reference
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The Sun Line references - Part Two

Postby Ian Pegler » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:01 pm

Here are some links and references for Part Two of the Sun Line. I will update this from time to time.


The Sun Line Part Two - links and references

Mitchell's Fold

For an ongoing thread about this stone circle, click HERE.

See also the comment on King Arthur in Part One, above.

The map below shows the Mitchell's Fold site, including the Sun-line (the longer blue line to the left).


The red line is a Watkins-style alignment running through another stone circle, now destroyed, towards the small cairn on the summit of Corndon Hill.

The shorter parallel blue line is the one illustrated in Part Two of the article (see the photo on Page 18, Dowsing Today July 2009).

The green line is the 203 degree azimuth from Mitchell's Fold to Lan Fawr hill.

Note: the "tumulus" is actually Lan Fawr hill - it's just a rocky hill, not a tumulus. Some of the cairns in this area are clearance cairns made by farmers, not bronze age.

Corndon Hill

Here's a close-up look at the boulder on Corndon Hill (the one that lines up with the two stone-circle stones as in the photo on page 18 in Dowsing Today, July 2009). Unlike the others, there's a definite sense of a deliberate straight edge going down one side.


A chance meeting

The thread in question is HERE.


I recently visited a great local second-hand bookshop in Aberystwyth and got a chance to look at a facsimile of John Ogilby's Atlas. Python Terry Jones did a series about the tracks in this atlas fairly recently.

I noted that no 71 is a route from Gloucester to Montgomery. It goes through Ross on Wye, Hereford, Presteigne, Knighton and even Clun. Remarkably, there's a little place noted on there called "Lea Line" - bear in mind this dates to 1675 !!!

See also the comments in Part One above, under the Owain Glyndwr and Alfred Watkins sections.

Stellarium and Eclipses

The home-page for Stellarium CLICK HERE

My Stellarium landscape for Mitchell's Fold can be downloaded from HERE

To see the 402 eclipse under Stellarium use the following command line:

"C:\Program Files\Stellarium\stellarium.exe" --sky-date 04021111 --sky-time 10:20:00

To see the 458 eclipse under Stellarium use the following command line:

"C:\Program Files\Stellarium\stellarium.exe" --sky-date 04580528 --sky-time 12:59:00

In both cases make sure that the Landscape is set to "Mitchell's Fold" at the bottom left corner of the screen. If it doesn't, click on Sky and Viewing options and click the Landscape tab. Make sure that "Use associated planet and position" is ticked, and click where it says "Mitchell's Fold" on the left (even if the Mitchell's Fold landscape is already selected) then close the form down.

Note: Appearances can be deceptive. To discover when the eclipse really happens, you have to find out when the landscape goes dark.

Another interesting eclipse happened in 878:

C:\Program Files\Stellarium\stellarium.exe" --sky-date 08781029 --sky-time 13:59:59

This was the year that another great Welsh leader, Rhodri Fawr, died. The eclipse happens as the Sun is crossing over Lan Fawr Hill.

For an ongoing thread on Stellarium, click HERE.

CLICK HERE for a Roman British Time-line.

Sun discs

A copy of the Guy Underwood article was forwarded to the BSD.

CLICK HERE for an article on the Sun Disc discovered in Ceredigion.

Staff-planting saints

Saint Patrick was another staff-planting saint:

One legend of St. Patrick's work as a missionary says that during his evangelistic journey back to Ireland, he carried a staff made of ash wood. When he came to the place now referred to as Aspatria, which means the ash of Patrick, he supposedly planted his staff in the ground during his preaching and by the time he was ready to move on, it had grown roots.

The motif does seem to be fairly universal:

Moses, tired in the shadeless desert, planted his staff of storax in the soil and lay down in its scanty shade, which was instantly increased, Allah causing the staff to sprout and put forth branches bearing leaves and blossoms.

taken from HERE.

The Syrian saint Ephraem was another staff-planter - CLICK HERE

St. Martin, another staff-planter:

St. Martin’s tree. St. Martin planted a pilgrim’s staff somewhere near Utopia. The staff grew into a large tree, which Gargantua pulled up to serve for a mace or club, with which he dislodged King Picrochole from Clermont Rock. (Rabelais. Gargantua and Pantag’ruel.)

And also saint Melor's murderer:

St Melor was murdered and his murderer intended to take the saint's head back to his uncle, who had ordered the killing. On the journey he became faint from thirst and cried out for help. He was answered by saint Melor's head, which told him to plant his staff in the ground. 'When he had done this, not only did a spring of water spout forth from the ground but the staff took root and was turned into a most beautiful tree and brought forth branches and fruit, and from its root an unfailing fountain began to well forth.'

Closer to home, St. Congar was yet another staff-planter:

St. Congar drained the marshy land in the district and in about 530 founded a monastery. One day, while he was standing in the churchyard surrounded by his monks, "he wished that a yew-tree might grow there, to provide shade from the summer heat, and, with its spreading branches, to ornament the churchyard. As he formed the wish, he fixed in the ground the staff he was holding in his hands, which was made of yew. He let go of it, and, when he put his hand on it again, he could not pluck it out. Next day it began, in the sight of a crowd of bystanders, to bear leaves, and afterwards grew into a huge spreading tree..."

taken FROM HERE.

Also the Saxon saint Aldhelm:

The name means Bishop's Tree [AS treo], and the story of its naming comes from the life of St. Aldhelm related by William of Malmesbury. He tells how Aldhelm came to the village to preach, and before he started he planted his ash staff in the earth. While he was preaching, the staff miraculously sprouted leaves, and grew into a fine tree.

So at least six of these staff-planters are associated with the South West of England, namely St. Aldhelm, St. Congar, St. Melor, St. Newlina, St. Ruan and Joseph of Arimathea ! Eight if you include St. Patrick and St. Benignus...

St. Christopher was another staff-planting saint. Here is a link to the IMAGE of him at St. Saeran's church, North Wales.

Another staff planter, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus:

In order to stop the River Lycus from its frequent and damaging floods, Gregory planted his staff at a safe point near the river bank. He then prayed that the river would never rise past the staff. The staff took root, grew into a large tree, and the river never flooded past it again. This act led to his patronage against floods and flooding.

A Scottish staff planter, St. Ninian:

Meanwhile the young man landed, and that he might make the merits of the man of God more widely known, animated by faith he planted his staff on the shore, praying God, that in testimony of so great a miracle, sending forth roots and receiving sap contrary to nature, it might produce branches and leaves, and bring forth flowers and fruit. The divine propitiousness was not wanting to the prayer of the suppliant, and straightway the dry wood, sending forth roots, covering itself with new bark, put forth leaves and branches and, growing into a considerable tree, made known the power of Ninian to the beholders there. Miracle is added to miracle. At the root of the tree a most limpid fountain springing up, sent forth a crystal stream, winding along with gentle murmur, with lengthened course, delightful to the eye, sweet to the taste, and useful and health-giving to the sick, for the merits of the saint.

The same motif turns up in other cultures:

Close by we located the fifth, sixth and seventh wonders, all linked to Kobo Daishi, founder of the Shingon Buddhism sect who visited Miyajima in the 9th century. One is known as shakujo-no-ume, a plum tree said to have sprouted where the Great Saint planted his staff: if its double-petalled red flowers fail to bloom in the spring, the omens are bad.

And in Hinduism, with reference to Guru Rinpoche:

The Guru is also said to have planted his staff in the ground, which is where a Hugh cypress tree stands in the ground of Kurje Lhakhang today.

The story also turns up in Samoa:

And he [Auriaria] planted his staff Te Rakau on Samoa: it became The Tree of Samoa.

So the list so far goes:

Joseph of Arimathea
St. Aldhelm
St. Melor (or his murderer)
St. Martin (of Vertou)
St. Christopher - according to some sources, his staff was made of iron
St. Patrick
St. Benignus
Moses (Islamic tradition, by the looks of things)
St. Ephraem
St. Congar
St. Newlina - St. Newlyn East church in Cornwall.
St. Gregory Thaumaturgus
St. Ninian
St. Ruan (Cornwall ,although I don't have a written reference)
St. Etheldreda
Kobo Daishi (Buddhist tradition)
Guru Rinpoche (Hindu tradition)
Auriaria (Banaba creation myth)

Human Sacrifice

According to Sacred Waters by Janet and Colin Bord (p.124):

The Welsh River Dee was the home of the war goddess Aerfen, who was said to need three human sacrifices each year in order to ensure success in battle.

There was a shrine to Aerfen, at Glyndyfrdwy, which is where the Sun-line crosses the river Dee.

When you think about it, so many sites along this ley have some connection with warfare, from the Iron Age hill-forts, right down to the more recent "powerpoints" mentioned in the article. Isn't there an RAF base at St. Asaph's?

Another Waktins ley

In Early British Trackways Watkins mentions the following ley:

There is a hill on the Canon Pyon road called Bewley or Bewdley Pitch. Solely on account of my surmise that the Bew-ley might lead to the Bew-well, I tried a line on the map and found a ley exactly falling on this "pitch" (or steep road) passing from the north through Bishops Moat (west of Bishops Castle), Meer Oak, Bucknell Church, Street Court, Stretford Churchyard, and Birley Churchyard, and exactly over the site of the well. Southwards over Palace Ford, Dinedor Camp, Caradock, Picts Cross, Hom Green Cross, Walford Church, Leys Hill, Speech House; there being numerous confirmations in fragments of road.

This is also mentioned in The Old Straight Track, Chapter XXVI. This also invites comparison: The Sunline also crosses Bewell Street Dinedor Camp and Leys Hill, but again, they're not absolutely identical.

According to this website, the Imperial Brewery in Bewell street was once called the Sunlight Brewery (!!!). The page also seems to have a photo of Alfred Watkins' father, Charles.

Notable features

(This section was originally part of the article. Note that the Mitchell's Fold stone circle is a Flattened 'A' type circle, so perhaps "egg-shaped" is a bit misleading)

Notable features

As a summary, here are just some of the many interesting places, some of which may be worth visiting, on or close to the alignment.

Marble Church, Bodelwyddan – not that old, but beautiful.
Denbigh Asylum - made infamous by the “Most Haunted” team
St. Asaph Cathedral
Saint Saeran’s Church, Llanynys
Llanelidan church
Plas yn Iâl (Yale Hall, “Allt Llwyn Dragon”)
Eliseg’s Pillar (9th century stone cross)
Valle Crucis Abbey – fairly close, info on my articles is on the BSD forum
Owen Glendower’s Mount
Llangadwaladr church
Gaer Fawr Hillfort – this is a colossal Iron Age hill-fort, now covered over with trees. It was the size of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Strata Marcella abbey – this was the “mother house” of Valle Crucis abbey. Nothing left to see now, though.
Mitchell’s Fold - egg-shaped Shropshire stone circle.
Corndon Hill – massive cairn and good view of the rolling Shropshire hills. A stiff walk though.
Wigmore Castle
Mortimer’s Cross (site of famous battle)
All Saints Church, Hereford
Hereford Cathedral
Dinedor Camp – hill fort south of Hereford
Goodrich Castle
Leys Hill (S of Ross on Wye) and Ley Hill (NE of Bristol) – these are less than twenty miles apart.
Little Sodbury church (fairly close)
Jug’s Grave – cairn excavated by Guy Underwood where he found a Bronze Age sun disc, made of gold foil.
The Dorset Cursus – a Neolithic cursus running over six miles in a NE-SW direction.

It's on Google Maps

I've produced a KML file with loads of info, gleaned from a variety of sources. However, a word of caution:

The way in which Google Maps represents long straight lines is not entirely consistent. For months it has represented the Sun-line as falling on the Western edge of Dinedor Camp, but yesterday, for some unknown reason, it shifted it to the east, much closer to the Rotherwas Serpent. Today it has shifted it back again - without any of the data having changed whatsoever!

So you should regard the position of the light-blue line as a rough guide. To find its "true" position (for you, that is) you will have to dowse. For me the energy line (as opposed to the general alignment) is serpentine in any case.

CLICK HERE to view the Sun-line under Google Maps.

Have fun and feel free to post comments below.

Last edited by Ian Pegler on Sun May 03, 2015 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:15 am

A Negative Example - the White Lion

The White Lion as a heraldic symbol is associated with the Mortimer family. Presumably this is why it features on the sign at the Mortimer's Cross since they would have supported the Yorkist cause. However if you search for pubs called "The White Lion" you will find them all over England and Wales - there is no sense of a localised cluster in the Welsh Marches, and no concentration along the Sun Line at all.

So it doesn't always work, you have to find a localised cluster with a straight (or near straight) edge.

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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:35 pm

I have been informed by Phillip Cope (an expert on Holy Wells) that Saint Ruan of Cornwall also planted his staff, so that's staff-planting saint no. 12 - and yet again he's associated with the south west !

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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Grahame Gardner » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:49 pm

Ian, your Google map link above doesn't seem to be working for me at the moment?
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it - Terry Pratchett.
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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:24 pm

Grahame Gardner wrote:Ian, your Google map link above doesn't seem to be working for me at the moment?

Darn, well spotted! Fixed it now. I think I must have forgotten to upload the file when I moved my website to a new ISP.


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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:03 am

I found a historical photograph of a Sun pub, again near the Sunline, at a place called Church Stoke, but obviously I don't have precise coordinates for it.

I'll be updating the kml file in the fullness of time.

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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:55 am

I've updated the data and transferred it to my site as a kml file and gpx.

CLICK HERE to view the kml file under Google Maps.

CLICK HERE to view the gpx file under Google Maps (some things seem to have gotten lost along the way).

As you can see, there are far more pubs called "The Sun" in the Welsh Borders than there are in the rest of Wales.

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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:12 pm

More on St. Martin

The St. Martin who planted his staff (which then grew) was probably St. Martin of Vertou, so I've updated the list to reflect this.

The St. Martin related to the Sun-line is St. Martin of Tours who was a completely different guy - a much more prominent Saint, and there are many churches dedicated to him in this country, though many more in England than in Wales.

He was known for destroying pagan temples and building churches in their place, which makes him directly relevant to energy-lines and leys, especially in those geographical areas directly related to him.

The SAS church in Hereford (note proximity to the Sun-line) is dedicated to St. Martin of Tours, who was patron saint of the military (yet another military reference on the Sun-line!!)

Now here's an interesting thing: his feast day is, of course, Martinmas - November 11th i.e. Samhain which is the primary solar alignment at Mitchell's Fold, which is also on the Sun-line! Nov 11th is also Armistice day, of course.

I dowse that Samhain (Martinmas) was the primary solar alignment linking sites along the Sun-line, even though the angle of the ley itself is different. It could be yet another coincidence, I suppose, that the only historical total solar eclipse I found (in over 2000 years of data) to happen over the Sun-line happened in 402 on St. Martin's day - but I'll let you be the judge of that. ;-)

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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:45 pm

Templars in Hereford Cathedral

the following comes from The Templars - History and Myth by Michael Haag (p.318):

The Templars also made their presence felt at the shrine of Saint Thomas Cantilupe in Hereford Cathedral.

Saint Thomas, the last Englishman to be canonised before the Reformation, died in 1282. He was bishop of Hereford but also provincial Grand Master of the Knights Templar, and fourteen Templars are carved round the base of his tomb.

Yet another military reference on the Sun-line.

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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:28 am

More on Templars in Herefordshire and Shropshire

In 1927 a circular chapel was discovered in St. Owen's Street, Hereford, purportedly it was a Templar chapel.

From a photo of the excavations, my dowsing suggests that it was indeed a Templar chapel and I dated it to 1188 (check this with your pendulum if you wish).

The Templars also had a base at Dinmore [fairly close to the Sunline] but it was handed over to the Hospitallers; it's now a private estate. They also had a base to the east at Upleden at Bosbury according to Evelyn Lord, though I haven't been able to locate it exactly. Also from the same source:

Evelyn Lord, The Knights Templar in Britain, p.149 wrote:Lydley [in Shropshire] was given to the Order by representatives of the great Marcher families of the Fitz-Alans and the Costellos. William Fiz Alan [the first, son of Alan Fitz Flaad] added the whole townships of Cardington and Enchmarsh [and half the vill of Chatwall]. The preceptory at Lydley stood on the site of what is now Penkride Hall in an isolated position close to Botwood Forest and the open common of Lawley. Cardington and Enchmarsh lie at the foot of Caer Caradoc between Wenlock Edge and the Long Mynd.

But what about Halston near Oswestry? Was this ever a Templar base or was it Hospitaller from the outset?

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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:32 pm

Found another staff-planting saint today:

Continuing her flight to Ely, Etheldreda halted for some days at Alfham, near Wintringham, where she founded a church; and near this place occurred the "miracle of her staff." Wearied with her journey, she one day slept by the wayside, having fixed her staff in the ground at her head. On waking she found the dry staff had burst into leaf; it became an ash tree, the "greatest tree in all that country;" and the place of her rest, where a church was afterwards built, became known as 'Etheldredestow.'

(from HERE)

That makes a baker's dozen I think..!

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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:52 am

Yet another staff-planter: Saint Benignus. I found the reference in The Chronicle of Glastonbury, where it is claimed he was buried (but then they would say that):

"But when he came to an island where he saw a solitary place fit for habitation, the staff which he had fixed in the soil - wonderous to tell! - soon began to grow green, put forth branches and flower"

He is said to have been a disciple of St. Patrick (another staff-planter, also linked with Glastonbury)

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Re: Apr & July 2009 - The Sun Line - references

Postby Ian Pegler » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:15 am

I came across another one the other day...

St. Newlina was an obscure virgin martyr. Apparently she planted her staff at the south wall of St. Newlyn East church in Cornwall. (ref: A.R. Vickery, 1979) - yet another Staff-planting saint in the South West of England!

I've updated the list.

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