John at Calderstones Heritage Open Day Fri Sept 9th

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The Heritage Open Days returns to Calderstones this September with an opportunity to get up close with the hidden treasures of the Park’s history and heritage.

For the past three years, The Reader has hosted successful events at Calderstones Park as part of the national Heritage Open Days Festival.

This year’s festival takes place between the 8 – 11 September.

The stones themselves (tiny.cc/calderstones) will be open to the public everyday of the festival, between 10am and 4pm.

Local historian and prehistory expert Ken Sloan will be there on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon with genuine prehistoric tools and a replica of the Bronze Age burial urn found in Wavertree in 1867.

I’ll be there on Friday the 9th between 1 and 4 pm, please do pop in and have a chat if you’re around.

More info at calderstonesmansion.wordpress.com

Spirits of Place 2016

Spirits of Place logo by Andy BloorOn Saturday the 2nd of April 2016 the Spirits of Place symposium was held at Calderstones Mansion House here in the heart of South Liverpool.

The whole thing came about when I saw that the venue was for hire and I started thinking about what kind of event it would be great to see there. Something the likes of which people who live in London, or Brighton say, might be quite used to seeing advertised but which there never seem to be very many of up here in the North. Something which fused historical and archaeological topics with things like folklore and myth and literature. Something which spoke of the stories – public, personal, true and otherwise – embedded and encoded in the landscape. Tentatively I made some enquiries, things spiralled quickly, and within a month I found myself at the helm of an actual event that had speakers and tickets for sale and was definitely an actual real thing.

And then, on Saturday, it happened. And it was successful. Very successful.  And people have sent me lovely tweets, and emails, and even written lovely blogs about it (here and here).

Lots of people have asked me if there will be another one, and do you know what? I think there probably will be. If you’d like to stay informed about that please subscribe here.

Continue reading “Spirits of Place 2016”

Double #FolkloreThursday post: Hare’s Eggs for Easter, and Invoking the Spirits of Place

Hare’s Eggs at Easter

As the Easter weekend draws close, children and adults alike anticipating a chocolate egg binge, the internet is alive with articles on the “true” origins of Easter. Yet, could there be any truth in the idea that rabbits – or hares at least – do lay eggs?
Read the rest on DailyGrail.com


Invoking the Spirits of Placecalderstones-showing-cup-and-ring-f-beattie

South Liverpool, where I was born and live still, is a place full of green-spaces. Its abundance of woodlands, parks, cemeteries, playing fields and golf courses are linked by an intricate network of narrow, bramble-lined public footpaths and overgrown roadside verges. The more romantically inclined might be tempted to call them faerie paths, or corpse roads, and perhaps some once were such; back when an Iron Age fort stood on top of Woolton’s Camp Hill, or perhaps longer still.
Read the rest on FolkloreThursday.com

Spirits of Place – one month to go!

Spirits of Place A4 Poster No Bleed

Spirits of Place is a one day, multidisciplinary symposium taking place on Saturday the 2nd of April, 2016 in Calderstones Mansion house, Calderstones Park, Liverpool.

It’s a kind of cross between a conference and a working – a day of talks, readings, interviews, and screenings taking their cue from the neolithic Calderstones and their surroundings and then spiralling out to include all manner of related stuff.

Archaeology, history, folklore, magick, psychogeography/landscape-punk, fiction, and all points between will be covered.

A full list of guests, talks, and (approximate) times is online at tiny.cc/spiritsofplace where tickets can be purchased for £15 (plus booking fee).

I hope you can join us there.