[For a brief period after Newsletter 27 in the year 2002, we posted to LexiLine without giving a specific Newsletter number, and then resumed normal numbered postings with Newsletter 28. Hence the interceding postings (with related topics sometimes combined in one posting) are here named 27-A, 27-B, 27-C, etc.]
The old legend of "Mother Meldrum" in Exmoor has some interesting relatives, showing there is more to Meldrum than meets the eye.
There is Oldmeldrum (i.e. Old Meldrum) in Scotland, which is a little-known megalithic site near Aberdeen, at Sheldon Farm.
As I have discovered, Oldmeldrum has 5 large megaliths in the shape of Cepheus, with Cepheus carved on the front of the single large megalith at the tip of the formation, above the dragon head of the Milky Way, thus confirming my identification of this region with this constellation.
I am thus uploading
oldmeldrum.gif and oldmeldrum.tif
to the Ancient Britain files.
Oldmeldrum is East of the Loanhead of Daviot (which I previously identified as the star eta-Cepheus) and near the "Hill of Barra", an ancient hill fort, the fort dating from the 1st millennium BC and the megaliths of course much older than that. See
Linguistically, I think Cepheus may be related to Indo-European, viz. Latvian CEPURE, i.e. CE-PURE (Latvian "hat, cap") and KUPRIS viz. KU-PRIS "hump, stump", and hence BARRA. Cepheus is the protrusion above the head of the dragon.
This analysis also finds its support in Gaelic, where DRUM is a "ridge" so that MEL-DRUM is simply "the ridge of the Milky Way, MILky-way ridge", i.e. Cepheus.
We also have in Gaelic meile the thick stick by which the quern is turned, i.e. a quern, Irish meile, hand-mill or "grinder"
or more simply "mill drum".
So that this was Hamlet's Mill of heaven.
This puts the legendary Mother Meldrum in Exmoor in a completely different and new astronomical light.