Ice Age Sites of Britain's Serpents - Part Five

Unbox the wise hag's hidden technologies. Thu 04 May 2023

Facade of Saint Jouin de Marnes Abbey, France. Source: Images of Lust, p61

In France, these images are called femmes aux serpents. "Women with serpents."

Orthodox historians claim these images are spiritual. That the serpents represent spiritual punishment.

Look at her upper chest:

Blue lines trace out bridle and halter.

The serpents hang from a bridle slung around her neck. If you can't see the bridle, tap on the first image to load a larger version.

If the serpents represent spiritual objects, why do they hang from a bridle?

The serpents' skin is deeply ridged. Which serpent or snake has deeply ridged skin?

Deep ribbing is characteristic of traditional rubber hose. It was made for production environments where the hose might be dragged over hard surfaces.

It is still manufactured for the steam-renovation market:

With full internal helix wire. Source: Heritage Steam Supplies

In the images, the serpents are segmented. They are made up of lengths of ribbed hose joined at each end. They are probably sheaths that protect more delicate tubing inside.

Try this one:

From figure at Archingeay, France. Source: Images of Lust, p70

This image is a giveaway.

The ridged 'skin' of the 'serpents' is less obvious but still visible top left (to her upper right) and perhaps bottom right (her lower left).

Her enlarged vulva indicates she is post-partum. She will produce milk for a year or two after the birth. But only if her milk is continually extracted. The baby won't extract it. It's long gone. If it was male, it was immediately sold to a higher paying market. If it was female, it was either sold or held back for later breeding and milk production.

The two rounded 'legs' extending down from the horizontal bar beneath her chin are instantly recognisable to any dairy worker:

Rounded frames of milking stalls. Source: Dairy Stalls

During milking, females must be able to shift position and relieve itching or irritation without shaking or stamping. Critically important is to prevent them stretching or stressing their milking lines. Sometimes called 'milking stanchions, these frames limit the female's movement but don't prevent it altogether.

Clearly, these french carvings depict hominids - presumably homo sapiens and not homo lactans - amid dairy technology. But it wasn't just France.

From Chicksands Priory, Bedfordshire, England:

The remains of the priory... reminded John Byng, Viscount Torrington, who came on a visit in 1791, of nothing so much as a dairy

We also saw high-volume demand for milk and maidens in Ice Age Sites of Britain's Serpents - Part Four.

Perhaps this one helps:

Sketch of figures at La Charité-sur-Loire, France. Source: Images of Lust, p72

Milking doesn't work with females that fight. These images hint at the stock's level of submission:

Oh the bovinity! Source: The Time Machine

The french locations of these images are associated with medieval British rule and Eleanor of Aquitaine:

French locations in this evidence collection.

For the most part, French monastic houses were destroyed, just as they were in Britain. These images were apparently taken from carvings on fragments. However, Saint-Jouin-de-Marnes Abbey survived or was rebuilt:

Apse at Saint-Jouin-de-Marnes Abbey, France. Source

The semi-circular apse of Romanesque cathedrals and abbeys makes better sense when understood as a curved corridor. It enables one-way passage of milking stock to and from the same cattle pen. In a dairy, it also enables staff to access stock from the centre of the building. This design is functional, reduces capital costs and reduces manpower required for stock management.

Up until the Reformation, we knew this design well:

Standard Romanesque layout of a cathedral with apse. Source

Modern dairies follow similar design principles to move dairy herds in and out without fouling milking lines.

We can even figure out the word for the internal hoses those ribbed, spiritual 'serpents' protected.

'Cathedral' is derived from 'catheter'. From Merriam-Webster: catheter:

a tubular medical device for insertion into canals, vessels, passageways, or body cavities usually to permit injection or withdrawal of fluids

It's tempting then to wonder if 'women with serpents' imagery shows breast milk being extracted for cheese-making or for casein. Casein being a component in early and biodegradable plastics. However, Christina Z. Anderson's experiments showed breast milk contains too little casein to be used for cheese-making or casein processes.

The un-church-like nature of Lincoln's 'church of St Paul in the Bail' makes more sense when interpreted as a small urban milk-bar:

No tower. Not cross-shaped. And not a church. Source: Physical Remains - Lincoln

These venues still exist:

Kabukicho district, Tokyo. Source: Lactating ladies nurse customers

From Tokyo Serves up Lactation Bars:

Bonyu Bar seems to be the most popular such bar in Kabukicho. It employs three nursing women, all under the age of 30 and willing to let you partake in their mammary secretions.

Modern milk-bars help us envisage the health status of human stock in pre-Reformation milk bars.

From Lactating ladies nurse customers:

The first serving is supplied from Yui, age 28, who takes a shot glass from off the shelf, leans over, and begins filling it with mammary extract. Kajiyama samples it pensively. No odor and no flavor, he shrugs.

But Mari’s milk is another story altogether. This 21-year-old’s is rich and sweet, and definitely a treat.

But 27-year-old Kaho’s output is awful... It’s yellowish, sour and repulsive - virtually undrinkable. It turned out Kaho happened to be slightly indisposed with a cold, and her physical condition had a pronounced impact on the quality of her milk.

The wooden design of St Paul in the Bail evolved into stone 'cathedra' but it took until the 19th century for dairying to reach its full potential.

With the introduction of electricity.

Ten miles south of Lincoln lie remnant villages of Temple Bruer's notorious military and farm complex. Among them is Wellingore village - home of a farm college at Wellingore Hall.

Wellingore Hall's large 'chapel' was allegedly built in 1882 for local judge, keen chemist, well-known engineer, and electrical device inventor Ralph Neville. Almost immediately a 'mysterious fire' burned down the 'chapel', prompting this 1885 rebuild:

Interior inspection is recommended. Source: Wellingore Hall

Wellingore Hall's mysteries extend beyond its chapel. And Neville's role in developing modern farming is a story in itself. To keep a long and mostly secret history short, technology research and staff predating on commoners were dreaded features of Temple Bruer land until Temple Bruer was itself destroyed in a mysterious fire.

The key to understanding this is not the hidden technology. It's the forgotten law. It's knowing that farmers owned commoners as cattle into the 18th century and as slaves into the 19th century.

Medieval law recognised three types of property:

  1. Immovable property. (Land and stone buildings. This type of property was called 'estate'.)
  2. Property that could be moved. (Tools, possessions, timber buildings. This was called 'chattel', though today we also call it 'estate'.)
  3. Property that could be moved or that could move itself. (This type of property was called 'cattle'.)

Commoners were categorised as 'cattle'. They were owned by the lord or lady of the manor. Or managed by 'vicari' on behalf of yet higher, elite owners.

Images of Lust often mentions carved depictions of hags in European churches. That's why you see witch trials - vicari trials - occurring in rural England and Europe at the end of the Reformation. Stock management requires a stock manager. It's why in England the witch, the wicca and the ale-wife are indistinguishable.

It's why Wellingore and nearby Navenby are associated with predatory witch folklore and surprisingly recent 'witch' artifacts. Such as this 1830 'witch bottle' found near Navenby's Methodist chapel.

Witches supplied farm-fresh product, sometimes cooking and serving it on site.

To whom?

To migrant workers - such as pilgrims - at refectories and roadside inns.

We also know that someone apparently called 'Grim' and 'Devil' was digging ditches, dykes and mounds all over Britain.

They also dug tunnels, mined and quarried.

What secrets are piled up behind the 18th/19th centuries' over-writing of folk memories?

Not machines, morlocks. Source: The Time Machine

From Black Annis - Leicester Legend or Widespread Myths:

Annis's howling could be heard as far as five miles away and, when Annis ground her teeth the sound was so loud that all the people had time to lock and bar their doors.

From British Dragon Gazeteer:

Manaton, Devon: A winged dragon made its lair in an old tin mine here (Manaton, Devon). The dragon’s hissing was said to be audible for miles around.

What technology were transformed into narratives of howling witches and hissing dragons?

Steam power:

Secret underground hissers. Source: Shadow Rome - II: Secret Technology

Lincoln cathedral is a well-known example of an English cathedral damaged by a geologically hard-to-explain earthquake. Yet earthquakes were captured in folk memories all over Britain.

From British Dragon Gazeteer:

Nant Gwynant, Wales: Every time work began upon Dinas Emry, it would be destroyed by earthquake-like disturbances.

The Stoor Worm, Orkneys: when it yawned the earth shook and great waves spewed over the land.

Sounds like earth-moving equipment.

But to build earth-moving equipment, you need good quality iron:

A blast from the past. Source: Shadow Rome - II: Secret Technology


The technology was not delayed; it was kept secret. Hidden under layers of artificially-created folklore.

It's no surprise then that folk memory 'remembers' the machinery's operators better than the machinery.

From Paranormal Database: Dragons:

Cissbury Ring hillfort, Worthing, Sussex: another legend says the structure was formed by earth falling off the Devil's shovel as he tried to dig a hole in the South Downs.

From What is the Black Annis in English Folklore?:

One of her most striking creatures are the discoloured, razor sharp teeth that protrude from her mouth when she brandishes her evil grin.

The Devil's shovel. Source

Today we call it a Cat 420f wide bucket.

Coincidentally - or not - west Leicester's cave-digging witch Black Annis was also nicknamed 'Cat Anna'.

Maybe her name changed with her paint job.

From Black Annis - Leicester Legend or Widespread Myths:

Annis was said to be very tall with a blue face and long white teeth. Other descriptions say Annis's teeth were yellow rather than white and that she only had one eye.

Like Black Annis, The Time Machine's blue morlocks live in caves, have long claws and a taste for 'ham'.

Backhoes carved themselves a place in British folklore. Source

Perhaps maintenance crews occasionally repainted Black Annis. Or replaced her worn parts.

Several British folklore accounts suggest 'serpents' were repairable.

From British Dragon Gazetteer:

The Lambton Worm, Durham: Many tried to slay it, but it could rejoin severed portions of its body

The Dragon of Loschy Hill, East Newton, Yorkshire: The monster could rejoin severed sections of its body so the knight brought with him his trusty hound that snatched up the pieces of the monster’s coils and ran off with them, thereby preventing the creature from rejoining.

From Paranormal Database: Dragons:

Nunnington, Yorkshire: The dragon which set up home near here possessed the ability to heal itself. It was finally defeated by Sir Peter Loschy and his dog; as Sir Peter cut pieces of the monster off, the dog picked the segments up and ran away with them

The notion that steam is an old technology challenges us because we think flammable gas and gas burners are a new technology:

A technology invented a long, long time ago. Source: AMI: Tour of a Pork Plant

It helps with food safety.

Especially when the food keeps rebelling.

Point a gas line at the rebels and they'll remember the dragon's breath.

Poisonous gasses and environmental disaster

Garbled accounts of mining and quarrying technology may explain a persistent feature of British serpents. Their tendency to poison the surrounding area.

From Dragons in Folklore - Icy Sedgewick:

An old ballad told that she was so venomous that no grass or corn could grow in a seven-mile radius.

Perhaps the machinery - presumably steam-powered - used a polluting technique for heating its steam water.

From British Dragon Gazetteer include:

Sexhow, Yorkshire: As well as breathing fire it spouted poison gas, killing anyone who ventured too close.

The Stoor Worm, Orkneys: Its breath was a vast cloud of poison that withered crops on the land.

Cynwch Lake, Moel Offrum, Wales: It emerged to poison the countryside

From Paranormal Database: Dragons:

St Leonard's Forest, Horsham: it killed men with its poison

Newcastel Emlyn, Dyfed, Wales: When the dragon's body hit the nearby river venom gushed out, killing all fish.

Nunnington, Yorkshire: The dragon ... possessed the ability to ... spit poison. the knight also died when his dog jumped up and licked his face in celebration, rubbing some of the dragon's poison on to his master.

Slingsby, Yorkshire: both the victors died soon after the battle due to the delayed effect of the dragon's poison

Uffington, Oxfordshire: where the beast's blood fell, the grass died

These are descriptions of toxic chemicals and gas.

From British Dragon Gazetteer:

St Leonard's Forest, West Sussex: In 1614 another type of dragon appeared in the forest, a limbless worm some nine feet long that killed both man and beast with poison, and which for a while became infamous in the area. It was said to raise up its head and look in an arrogant manner about itself.

That sounds like old equipment was replaced by new. Perhaps new kit with an arrogant backhoe was brought in as part of a change from mechanical refining to chemical leaching processes. Gold processing, for example, is notorious for arsenic off-products that leach into ground water. This onset of poisoning that coincides with a change in machinery suggests richer ore veins had been worked out. As ores become thinner and less profitable, leaching may be a financially viable option for extracting value from low-yield ores and residues.

Many serpent and dragon accounts have them living in tunnels and breathing out clouds of poisonous gas. That may be abbatoir equipment. One of the serpent accounts from St Osyth, Essex, claims the serpent lived in the abbey's cellars.

A guess at one form of 'poison breath' that might be found beneath an abbey-toir:

Elevator to Heaven. Source: AMI: Tour of a Pork Plant

From what we're told, medieval day labour didn't know how to read or write. The dairy stall image above and the evidence provided by sheela na gigs suggest work areas were labelled with graphic signage.

In modern abattoirs, they still are:

Beware the serpent's poison breath. Source: MySafetySign

For more about chemicals used in abbatoirs and butchers, see Meatpacking: Hazards and Solutions.


It's easy to unpack the account of a dragon hissing in a mine near Manaton, Devon, as a rewritten folk memory of steam pumps and steam shovels.

Less easy is why folklorists bothered to claim some serpents and dragons could fly. There's no need to and in British folkore many don't. But a few do. Also, certain features of their flight are hard to account for as folkloric whimsy.

Three of them were alleged to regularly fly the same routes:

Flight paths of the flying serpents


Where would artificial airships get lighter-than-air gasses?

From British Dragon Gazetterr:

Norton Camp Hillfort, Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset: Over the centuries a dragon is said to have grown from the corruption of the rotting bodies (this spontaneous growth of creatures from rotting matter was a common belief in Medieval times). The dragon took up residence in an Iron Age hill fort and preyed on the populace

Shoulsbury Castle, Challacombe, Devon: They flew around snorting fire and would perch upon Bronze Age burial mounds across the region.

See Gas Stations of the Past - Part One for more evidence of lighter-than-air gas production facilities.

Iron Age hillforts are star actors in Britain's serpent and dragon folklore. They're a focus for earth-moving and transportation machinery caught in the legends of the past. They must have been very important.

Other dragons repeatedly flew over towns, spitting fire:

From Paranormal Database: Dragons:

Leicester, Leicestershire: Seen flying and spitting fire, the dragon passed over the town many times during the month (of, allegedly, April 1389).

Sometimes they dropped fire or rocks.

From British Dragon Gazetteer and Paranormal Database: Dragons:

Helston, Cornwall: a huge fire-breathing dragon was seen flying over the town, clutching a ball of flames in its claws. The dragon dropped the flaming mass just outside the town where it cooled down, forming a huge rock that is still there

Sometimes deliberately.

From Paranormal Database: Dragons:

St Osyth, Essex: a large dragon attacked a house in St Ostwyth, the air surrounding the creature so hot that it set the area alight.

Wiveliscombe, Somerset: the devil manifested riding a green dragon and began hurling rocks at the construction

From Paranormal Database: Dragons:

Christechurch, Devon: The dragon was said to have emerged from the sea and taken flight towards the town, destroying the church and many of the surrounding houses (but not those occupied by the abbot and his entourage). The dean of the destroyed church tried to escape by boat, but the vessel was also incinerated

Flying fire spitters and rock throwers


  • Fire marker: Fire-spitting or fire-blasting dragon
  • Yellow marker: Rock-throwing rider mounted on a flying dragon
  • Dull yellow marker: Dragons witnessed over gas filling stations


Serpents, dragons, wyverns, wyrms, griffins and cockatrices were created by professional folklorists to account for memories of:

  • Earth-moving machinery
  • Steam powered plant and its furnaces
  • Freight airships
  • Processing equipment in abbatoirs and butcheries
  • Farm processing equipment
  • Underground facilities (abbey-toir cellars, processing plants)

The equipment's operators were rewritten as the devil, as pilgrims and as witches.

Witch folklore seems to have been written to dilute roles where human folk memory was rich and diverse. These were roles with a lot of contact with humans and therefore many folk memories to dissipate.

They included:

  • Farm stock management
    • selection for breeding
    • selection for slaughter
    • skin processing
  • Innkeeping
    • meat procuring
    • catering

Seen in this light, many accusations against witches suggest some operators continued to use tools and techniques they used before the English Civil War.

Before the Nevilles of Wellingore Hall introduced and trained humans in new technologies. Technologies like electricity. And milking machines.

Bizarre-sounding claims about witches poisoning people and causing wasting diseases suggest they still had access to chemicals that had survived the destruction of their former workplaces.

They were experienced professionals struggling in a society that was embracing new technology.

I, Annis had begun the long journey to I, Daniel.

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