First published in 1925 THE OLD STRAIGHT TRACK remains the most important source for the study of ancient tracks or leys that criss-cross the British Isles- a fascinating system which was old when the Romans came to Britain.
First in the Herefordshire countryside, and later throughout Britain, Alfred Watkins noticed that beacon hills, mounds, earthworks, moats and old churches built on pagan sites seemed to fall in straight lines. His investigation convinced him that Britain was covered with a vast network of straight tracks, aligned with either the sun or the path of a star.
Although traces of this network can be found all over the country, the principles behind the ley system remain a mystery. Are they the legacy of a prehistoric scientific knowledge which is now all but lost? And was their purpose secular or religious?
Alfred Watkins was born in Hereford in 1855 and was an enthusiastic early photographer, the inventor of much apparatus, including the pinhole camera and the Watkins exposure meter. His revelation took place when he was 65 and caused violent controversy in archeological circles.