Have you ever saw an X on a map and thought damn, if I could only go looking for it? Maybe it will be gold or treasure of some sorts? Who knows it can be, but fear is the thing that holds us back in life and dampens our sense of adventure.
But Gawan Mac Greigair didn't let anything stop him. He recently purchased an Ordnance Survey (OS) map and saw a religious symbol in the middle of nowhere. This peaked his curiosity and he decided to go out and explore a little bit.
"It’s 4cm to 1 mile, so it’s the right scale to be able to include symbols for intriguing things in the landscape, including historic monuments, ancient earthworks, places of worship and so on," said Gawan.
"I happened to have a free afternoon on that day, and there was heavy fog blanketing the top of the North Downs all day," he said. "I couldn’t resist the chance of an otherworldly walk in mist."
"The North Downs is a range of chalk hills in Kent (which give the White Cliffs of Dover their whiteness) – it’s classed as ‘Ancient Countryside’, and it is full of secretive nooks and crannies, and has a long history. I had seen this symbol on the map before and it had intrigued me because it seemed unusual that a place of worship would be located quite far from any village and that it would be right on the edge of a woodland."
He doesn't consider himself to be religious or a believer of some sort, but he does have a sense of adventure, and he appreciates the mystery behind places and things.
"The most memorable part was the moment when – after thinking I had lost my way in the wood – I was approaching where the symbol on the map seemed to suggest the place of worship ought to be. I was straining to find it through the mist, which was difficult given that I didn’t know whether to look for a ruin, a pile of stones or an actual church. I think I gasped at the moment when I realized I was looking straight at it."
Let's follow Gawan on his journey where he discovered a mystical and magical place in the middle of nowhere.