We live in an ancient house. As with all really old houses, bits have been added to it over the years. Most of it dates from the time of the Tudors, who five hundred years ago swept in from Wales to take the throne of England. Parts of it are earlier – a long hall made of huge oak timbers infilled with a latticework of sticks, plastered with clay. You can still see the place where the smoke used to go out of a hole in the roof, before the invention of the chimney. And parts of it, lost now under the building of centuries, may date from times before history began.
On the morning of Midsummer’s Day I woke early to watch the sun rise. As the blood-red orb was still touching the horizon, it shone straight in at the front door, which is at the eastern end of a passage that runs from one side of the house to the other. Straight in at the door it shone, slam bang central, as it does on no other day of the year. It has this in common with (for instance) the alignment between the Heelstone and the Altar Stone at Stonehenge, and of course the alignments of the Lightsolstice Quoit in drowned Lyonesse, and the Powerfields of Carnac in Ar Mor, now sunk beneath the Bay of Douarnenez in Brittany.