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Toot Baldon(2) , Oxfordshire. Reported 4th August.

Creation Date: Circa 4th August

Map Ref: SP566017

Crop: Wheat

Reported by: Ellis Taylor/Geiff Ambler





Ground (Images by Ellis Taylor and Geoff Ambler)


Dimensions/Swirl: (Formation to be properly surveyed)

Description and Information:


The second formation to appear in the Garsington-Toot Baldon area was found on August 4th in a "no mans land" between Garsington, Toot Baldon and the first housing estates of East Oxford. It was tucked away behind a copse surrounded by a maze of wheatfields and could not be spotted from the Garsington hills.

The small size formation was surprisingly sophisticated consisting of 2 unusual components. The major part was a hexagon containing a 4 arm spiral inside. This started at a swirl centre and moved outwards at 4ft spacings.
The sides of the hexagon were found to be equal at around 34 ft and the diameter measured to opposite corners of the hexagon and passing through the swirl centre was 68ft, thus showing that the figure was entirely symmetrical. The standing areas had been lightly brushed down at about 30 degrees so the wheat here was below the level of the field. This type of lay was noticed in the 2005 formation 2 miles away at Denton.

Just 20 ft away was a second component or "signature" measuring 24ft x14ft.
This was 2 interlocking loops which had a subtle shape like sickles with a very smooth flow.

The suspicion is that the formation is laid out of of sight very close to the edge of the woods, and rowdy young bikers operate from Oxford estates nearby. However the design work looks far too sophisticated to be a hoax,

Geoff Ambler

I visited the reported formation which I think is actually within the Garsington parish.

The pattern consists of a clockwise spiral of raised and bunched wheat, which suggests something spinning. In between the wheat is flattened, also in a clockwise direction. This is enclosed in a hexagram of approximately 54 foot diameter. A narrow strip, of about 12 inches, is layer around the interior of the hexagram to round of the corners. About 10 yards to the west is another signature-type design; this time resembling a letter S or a spinning atom. It has similarities to the grass designs in Garsington last year, and I suspect were made by the same hands. The 'signature' is about 18foot by 12 foot.

The site, I think, was chosen because it is next to a large mysterious, moss-covered stone about 5 to 6 foot long by about 4 feet wide. I seem to remember that it was used as bridge across the stream next to it when I was a kid. The small copse, the stone, and the circle lay next to what we called 'the Witches Wood'. It is unusually dark in there and we thought it had a very spooky atmosphere - it still does. A friend of mine reckoned he saw a ghost there.

I thought there might be a spinning wheel formation for Lughnasadh this year. Lughnasadh is an ancient fire festival which has its climax when the sun is at 15 degrees Leo. It is traditionally associated with St Catherine, the martyr who was sacrificed on a burning wheel - the origin of the Catherine Wheel firework. I referred to this possibility on my website headlines on the morning of the same day Mr Godfrey reported this design, and had already, a few days previously, mentioned the possibility to Lucy Pringle.

To me the design lacks the beauty of previous formations around here. I think ego has crept in. Other people, of course, may have a different view. 

Ellis C Taylor


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