Coldrum Stones, Coldrum Bones

Location: Coldrum Stones Longbarrow, Kent
Museum: Maidstone
Era: Stone Age
Status: Completed Project
Tradition: Druid
Objective: Other Heritage Action


A couple of days after attending the HAD Queen of the Night Rite at Birmingham Museum, which had such a strong effect on me, I found myself suddenly wanting to track down the whereabouts of the ancient human remains that had been excavated from Coldrum Stones Longbarrow in Kent, and this urge began to throb inside me, and so, doing something so out of character, I spent half a day e-mailing the British Museum and Maidstone Museum tracking down these bones.

They turned out to be in Maidstone Museum and I soon received an e-mail from the Curator, Giles Guthrie. There were several e-mails between us culminating in me arranging a private appointment to go and see the bones of the Cantiaci tribal ancestral line that were excavated. In a further e-mail to him I dared to ask if I could actually touch the bones. He replied that I could, with gloves on. He asked if I was just interested in the bones, or the Neolithic, and I sent him a long rambling e-mail back explaining that I am Druid, with a strong connection with Coldrum, and to the Cantiaci ancestors of Kent. I told him how important it would be to me and a Druid colleague to see and touch the bones of my ancestors.

Giles replied that we were both welcome and, as our visit was spiritual, he would break with the rules and allow us to touch the bones without gloves, so that we might actually feel and connect with our ancestors. He hadn’t met any Druids before, and was really looking forward to meeting us both and hearing more.

The day of the appointment came. Giles had laid out the bones – which included a skull, a jaw, various small pieces of human bone, and the bones of animals found in the burial chamber – neatly and with care, on a table, and told us that we were free to touch and feel and hold and connect in any way we felt right. He was not allowed to leave us alone with them, but courteously went into the back room so as not to be in our way or intrude in anything that we may wish to do. He showed us complete trust with these ancient bones, which rather surprised me! He said we could ask him anything we required to know with regard to dates and so on, but this we both declined, the sole purpose of our visit being a spiritual connection to the bones and not an archaeological one.

Touching the bones with reverence and integrity, the skull in particular, hit both Rob and I very hard, in a profound yet gentle way, giving us such clarity of peaceful (yet strong, when needed) warrior energy of this Kent tribe. More importantly, the clarity that the ancestors are timeless: they do not belong to one time, but to all times.

We chatted to Giles about our Druid spirituality and what it means to us, also telling him about HAD, and explaining about the Queen of the Night Rite. He seemed genuinely interested in us and what we do, and has invited us back any time we wish to go and see ‘our ancestors’. He also took the time and trouble to show us various artefacts of arrow heads, and pottery of the Neolithic period, etc, that have been found locally.

It was a very successful and profound experience. We felt we have made a ‘friend’ of this curator. In a reply e-mail to me, which I had sent thanking him for his time and care, he said he had returned the bones to storage, with care, respect and reverence, and he hopes to meet with us again in the near future.

Sue Bouvier

March 2005

Contact: HAD Office