Megalithic Measures and Rhythms

Sacred Knowledge of the Ancient Britons

Anne Macaulay; Edited by Vivian T. Linacre and Richard A. Batchelor

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Reveals the remarkable mathematical complexity of the huge stone circles built in the British Isles and northwest France and how the megalithic Britons were able to achieve such accuracy.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Mind, Body, Spirit
26 photographs and 150 diagrams
288 pages
Publication date:
25 May 2006


The huge stone circles built in the British Isles and northwest France from 6,500 to 3,500 years ago are among civilization’s strangest monuments. Ignored or plundered for centuries, they have only in modern times begun to reveal their remarkable complexity.

It is now widely acknowledged that these ancient sites were precisely aligned to major celestial events, probably linked to the agricultural calendar of early farming settlements. But the mystery remains as to how the megalithic builders achieved such extraordinary accuracy in their measurement.

Inspired by the surveying work of Alexander Thom, Anne Macaulay devoted her life to an investigation of the stone circle sites, seeking out their hidden geometry and deeper cultural significance. In this book, she draws on ideas from geometry and metrology, archaeology and anthropology, history and mythology, astronomy and music.

Macaulay concludes that the extraordinary mathematical skills of the British megalithic builders was original and self-contained, but that in turn, the elite of this society became the proto-Greeks, their knowledge flowing to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Table of Contents

Chronological Table
Note on Dating
Introduction: The Origins of Megalithic Mathematics
1. The Geometry of the Megalithic Circles
2. Migration to the Mediterranean


'...It is a fascinating theory and (if true) has the potential to rewrite the history books and change our long-held concepts of the origins of European civilisation.'
--The Cauldron, November 2006

'It is obvious that Macaulay was a person of great personal charisma. As well as presenting Macaulay's work for posterity, the editors have added a number of biographical sketches and explanatory notes about her life and work, and have produced a fitting tribute to this independent thinker.'
--Northern Earth, Sep. 2006

'Investigates the geometry and cultural significance of stone circle sites with many photographs and line drawings to guide the reader.'
-- David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review, Summer 2006

'Illustrated thoughout with plans and photographs of stone circles, it is a tribute to all concerned.'
-- The Salisbury Review, Spring 2007

'Anne's posthumous gift to all those who are fascinated by the works of megalithic cultures.'
-- Marke Pawson, Caduceus & ICM Journal, Autumn 2006

'Macaulay's work is marvellously infused with geometrical and musical considerations ... One would like to see an annual Anne Macaulay lecture set up, in which speakers grapple with these intractable and yet deeply important issues; and maybe combat in some degree the tides of Rugglesian scepticism now washing over academe.'
-- Nick Kollestrom, The Megalithic Portal


Anne Macaulay (1924-1998) was born in Fife, Scotland. She settled in Balerno near Edinburgh but travelled widely, surveying megalithic sites around the world. In 1994, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Edinburgh.

Vivian T. Linacre is a surveyor based in Perth and is President of the British Weights and Measures Association.

Richard A. Batchelor, M.Sc., F.G.S. is a Research Fellow in Geology at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of Origin of St Andrews, which explores the sacred geometry of Fife.

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