Dowse Survey, Record

 by Catharine Fortlage                      Review by Ced Jackson

Somewhere in England, a dozen dedicated dowsers devine medieval manors, Roman remains, iron-age implements, bronze-age bodies, wiggling water-courses and languorous ley lines.

All are delighted, retire to the pub and imbibe large quantities of Strangler’s Old Chokey.  The next morning - as if by magic - all record of their research has been erased, because they have not read this book

As the author says ‘there is nothing wrong with just having a good day out, but it seems a pity to expend a lot of time and energy, to say nothing of skilled dowsing power, by leaving the work unrecorded’.

There is an urgent need to dowse and record sites that are at risk from development, and desirable to register sites with the BSD or local groups to make available the knowledge gained, and avoid reinventing the wheel.

The book sets out the general principles of surveying sites and the methods most useful to dowsers, including basic techniques; a worked example including typical dowsing responses regarding acquifers, energy lines, archaeological remains and earthworks; tips for tackling awkward problems; and essential equipment.

There should be one person in charge, assisted by ‘Chainmen’ who place flags and call out measurements, together with ‘Recorders’ (short pieces of wood full of holes).  Good communications between participants are important, as “Loud bellowing across a field may be mistaken for love messages by the local bull”

The book is essential for any serious field dowser.  But please note …

“On no account should ranging poles be used for Neolithic spear practice, however tempting ~ this does the pole no good and may involve abandoning the survey for a trip to the nearest casualty department where spear wounds will provide an unusual treat for the medical staff.”

Catharine Fortlage
31 Mount Nebo, Taunton, Somerset TA1 4HG
Email :  Tel : 01823 33 33 92  



This review first appeared  in Dowsing Today .

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