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Two Penn’orth


Tudor Abbey Farm - Coming soon to BBC2

Weald & Downland Museum must be one of my favourite destinations for a day out. So I was delighted on a recent visit to learn that it is the location for a new ‘farm’ series from the familiar Ruth Goodman & Peter Ginn, joined by a new colleague - Tom Pinfold.

I haven’t seen an announcement of the screening date, but I’m guessing October 17th since there is a supporting book due for release that day.

Update - the title of the book now seems to be ‘Tudor Monastery Farm’ - maybe reflecting that the title of the programme will also change?

The magician who constructed a castle by levitating giant stones

After Wally Wallington, I have investigated further into the business of megalithic building. And I have come across the case of Edward Leedskalnin.

Leedskalnin should, I think, be recognised as a real magician.

Most stage magicians work their business by pretending to do things which defy explanation.The lady who is sawn in half then miraculously reconstituted was never sawn in half at all. It just appeared that way.

Ed Leedskalnin actually built a castle from huge chunks of coral weighing up to 30 tons. He quarried these blocks, moved them, and built with them. And his Coral Castle is there for all to see. This is real magic.

OK, so obviously its real. But is it magic?

Well apart from the fact that the Coral Castle exists, everything about this venture matches an on-stage magic trick.

That such a small man should have worked with such large rocks single handedly appears to many to be impossible. Yet he has done it. And we do not know how. Ed Leedskalnin worked secretly under cover of darkness. He divulged his techniques to nobody and he took his secret with him to the grave.

A Google search on ‘Leedskalnin’ returns about 261,000 results. Much of this represents theories and debate about how he did it.

Given that he said himself ‘It’s not hard when you know how’, I am inclined to think that more effort has been expended on the question of how he did what he did than he expended himself on actually doing what he did.

Read more about Edward Leedskalnin and his Coral Castle.