portals

The legendary inter-dimensional portals of Olde England – Where Be They?

Unveil the hidden mysteries of Olde England's alleged inter-dimensional portals. From the enigmatic Roman Bath in the Strand to the haunting headless statues of Crystal Palace Park, discover sites where ancient lore and modern intrigue intertwine. Dare you explore these gateways to other worlds?

The notion of dimensional doors to other worlds and planes of exisetence has long fascinated people, and has become a frequent entertainment trope in recent years with the 'Mulitiverses' of Marvel, DC, and other popular motion pictures.

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Drawing of Roman Bath in the Strand by John Wykeham Archer, 1841 – Wikimedia Commons

Readers might be aware that institutions such as CERN in Switzerland are actively investigating the potential of creating gateways to alternate dimensions.

Piffle! You may well exclaim, but the notion of doors to other worlds goes back thousands of years, especially in what some still call ‘Merrie Olde England’. Ancient megaliths, Ley Lines, ‘Fairy Roads’ and more recent phenomena have apparently produced hyper-dimensional gateways, somehow powered by magnetic fields and the like.

Portals Of London

Let us explore some of them, aided in part by the anonymously-written The Portals of London blog, which attempts to catalog the capital’s interdimensional gateways. My favorites include The Quaerium (aka the Strand Roman Bath, above), a no-longer functional gateway to other worlds, built by the ancient Romans. One Fabius Viatorio, who, (according to LP) accompanied Emperor Hadrian on his visit to the city in 122 AD, reported.

In Londinium, on a hill close to that settlement’s Great River, a Merchant, with help from wise men, has built a small but wonderful temple. No Gods are worshiped within its walls. Inside the temple is a bath of modest proportions, but to submerge oneself in the milky liquid is to do more than bathe. This merchant holds famous gatherings, at which women and men sink into the water, and onwards into other Worlds

Other Portals

Other sites include The Crystal Palace Park Headless StatuesThe Crystal Palace Park features the haunting sight of headless statues, a poignant reminder of the crumbling Victorian era. Accounts suggest that one or more of them are still operating as gateways to very twisted places indeed – NEVER touch them.

portals in crystal palace
A Crystal Palace Park Headless Statue

The abandoned Pedway Scheme was a post-war plan to link the buildings of London’s Square Mile with a futuristic network of elevated walkways. Glimpses are littered around the City; especially the ‘Highwalks’ of the Barbican Centre. But…when exploring the lonelier pieces, remember your exit path; you may not like where you find yourself…

high walk portals
Wikimedia Commons

Other portals supposedly include Wren’s Lost Churches, the ghost village of Elswick-on-the-Marshon in Walthamstow, the 1912 Woolwich Foot Tunnel, The Waterloo Arches Rift, Henderson’s Door (Step From This Earth in an Instant!), The Hell Gate of St Pancras Old Church, The Hampstead Heath Barrow (aka Boudicca’s Mount) and many, many other bizarre wonders.

Take a gander:

Brompton Cemetery’s Time Machine – a Victorian Contraption Hidden in a London Tomb?

Outside London, other entrances and pathways to other worlds have been recorded, including a crenelated ‘floating city’ above the seaside town of Hastings in East Sussex.

"This is crazy, what is going on? Is this some sort of sign?"

Earth Mysteries

Of course, the most famous portals of England must be those of ‘faerie’, ‘Earth Mysteries’ which punctuate the countryside and inhabitations, on ley lines, under lone trees, daisy rings, burial mounds, henges, odd grassy knolls, and suchlike. One can enter to meet and commune with the fairy-folk, but your stay may unwittingly run to decades. So watch out, if tempted.

Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics explored the concept of an English Faerie ‘Otherworld/Avalon’, a ‘pocket’ dimension adjacent to Earth accessed through ‘places of power’, including Glastonbury Tor, the Long Man of Wilmington, the Cheviot Hills, Stonehenge, the Tower of London, Avebury, Buckingham Palace, Hadrian's Wall, Cragside in Northumberland, Clifton Suspension Bridge (Bristol), The Cavern Club in Liverpool, Karl Marx’s grave in Highgate Cemetery, Alan Moore's greenhouse, London’s St. James Park, as well as various other hidden sidhe (fairy mounds) situated throughout the British Isles.

portals in england
The Long Man of Wilmington, hill figure near Wilmington, Sussex.

Of course Marvel liberally referenced actual English folk lore in their concept of Avalon, including the use of Glastonbury Tor as entrance to the ‘Fairy Otherworld’:

In the UK, the cult TV series Sapphire & Steel (1979-82) centered on a pair of interdimensional operatives, the eponymous Sapphire and Steel. The duo were engaged in guarding the continuing flow of time, a ‘progressing corridor’ that surrounds everything. There are weak spots where the malignant entity of ‘Time’ – can break into the present and steal things for its nefarious purposes, as well as other evil creatures that lurk the corridor looking for the places to enter our dimension.

Sapphire and Steel

OTHERWORLD was a sci-fi television series that aired for eight episodes from January 26 to March 16, 1985, on CBS and was created by poet, recording artist, screenwriter, television producer and television director Roderick Taylor.

The Sterling family tour the interior of the Great Pyramid of Giza during a conjunction of the planets which takes place once in every ten thousand years. They are then transported to a planet which may or may not also reside in a parallel universe.

Otherworld

Neverwhere TV Show

Neverwhere is an urban fantasy television miniseries by Neil Gaiman that first aired in 1996 on BBC 2. The series is set in "London Below", a magical realm coexisting with the more familiar London, referred to as "London Above". The show was partially inspired by Gene Wolfe's fantasy novel Free Live Free – where a Mr Free offers free lodging to anyone who helps him locate a lost object hidden in his Chicago home. Four people (a mystic, a private eye, a prostitute, and a salesman) agree to his terms.

Neverwhere

See also Ben Moor’s BBC7 radio series Undone from 2006, which focuses on the life of Edna Turner, a journalist for a listings' magazine who discovers a strange parallel version of London called "Undone".

And Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series of novels.

The 'Telectroscope' was the name of an art installation constructed by Paul St George in 2008, which provided a visual link between London and New York City. According to the Telectroscope's fake history, it used a transatlantic tunnel started by the artist's fictional great-grandfather, Alexander Stanhope St. George. But really, the installation used two video cameras linked by a VPN connection to provide a virtual tunnel across the Atlantic. The producer of this spectacle was the creative company Artichoke, who previously staged The Sultan's Elephant in London:

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The Telectroscope: Wikimedia Commons

The new 2024 New York–Dublin Portal:

And, finally, more English ‘Hell gates’ – supposed entrances to the Devil’s realm:

The gateway to hell? Hundreds of anti-witch marks found in Midlands cave

One local to me, The Devil's Jump Stone, near Marston Moretaine (Bedfordshire)

A stone marks the spot where the Devil played a game of leapfrog with three local boys – when they jumped over his back, a hole to hell opened, and they were never seen again. Sh*t happens, as our American cousins are wont to say.

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Copyright: Darren Shaun Mann

The Bungay Druid’s Stone – a portal-ish instrument for contacting the Horned One?

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Wikimedia Commons

In Bungay, Suffolk (allegedly the UK’s ‘Satanist Capital’), a rock known as the Druid’s Stone stands in St Mary’s Churchyard. Folklore asserts this stone is actually a portal for contacting Satan. If you desire direct line to Old Nick, you must either run around or knock on the stone 12 times. A bit like that old song by Dawn, but with more knocking. And running.

The Druid’s Stone is actually most probably a glacial erratic brought to Bungay in the last ice age.

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Wikimedia Commons

Title page of the account of Abraham Fleming's account of the appearance of the ghostly black dog "Black Shuck" at the church of Bungay, Suffolk in 1577:

"A straunge, and terrible wunder wrought very late in the parish church of Bongay: a town of no great distance from the citie of Norwich, namely the fourth of this August, in ye yeere of our Lord 1577."

Other ‘Satanic Portals’, this time further afield:

Stephen Arnell’s 5* reviewed historical novel, ‘The Great One’

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-One-Secret-Memoirs-Pompey-ebook/dp/B0BNLTB2G7

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