Another architectural phallus tumesces appropriately on Love Lane. Such stone erections are thought by some to be connected to ancient Priapic worship, the male principle deified.
The name Love Lane appears frequently in different cities, often so named for their brothels: “in the Middle Ages the wanton women of the City gathered in [Love Lane near Aldermanbury], seeking customers, and the street thereby acquired its name” (Smith, Al. Dictionary of City of London Street Names. New York: Arco, 1970). Similarly, The London Encyclopedia cites the latter Love Lane as having been “a haunt of prostitutes in the Middle Ages” (Weinreb, Ben, and Christopher Hibbert. The London Encyclopedia. New York: St. Martin’s, 1983.). Gillian Bebbington in London Street Names corroborates this point, citing Stow in her description of Love Lane between Wood Street and Aldermanbury as a place frequented by “‘wantons’”.
As naval towns Rochester and Chatham were rife with prostitution as documented in Brian Joyce’s The Chatham Scandal: A history of Medway’s prostitution in the late 19th century
Since blundering into the idea of viewing the place where I live through an occult filter, I am already seeing something solid in the conjecture of another layer, usually invisible to the naked eye. This hidden layer is already beginning to reveal itself, subtley.
My impression that this would be largely a theoretical exercise in booklearning and the suspicious murk of deep topography has already been challenged. Yesterday, while setting off for the Post Office, I found what I can only describe as a ‘wreathed lingham’ at the top of Crow Lane in Rochester.
The wreathed lingham or phallus most often appears in English tradition as the maypole – a Northern-European germanic tradition linked to forest worship and Yggdrasil the tree of life. I seem to have found a makeshift pagan ritual site right on the main road.
In the woods there grew a tree
And a fine fine tree was he
And on that tree there was a limb
And on that limb there was a branch
And on that branch there was a nest
And in that nest there was an egg
And in that egg there was a bird
And from that bird a feather came
And of that feather was
And on that bed there was a girl
And on that girl there was a man
And from that man there was a seed
And from that seed there was a boy
And from that boy there was a man
And for that man there was a grave
From that grave there grew
In the Summerisle,
Summerisle, Summerisle, Summerisle wood