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Breamore Miz Maze

New Forest

Type:Maze

Breamore, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6 2DF
Breamore Miz Maze

About

On the top of a hill more than a mile from any settlement is Breamore Mizmaze. A footpath near Breamore House leads to the Mizmaze on Breamore Down. A Christian cross cuts through the Cretan design of the mediaeval turf mizmaze on the estate. This is not the sort of maze with dead ends, but a labyrinth where all paths eventually lead to the little mound in the centre. Paths of turf, made by cutting down to the bare chalk between them, curve in a symmetrical pattern, which is also found on the floors of some Italian and French churches.

Mizmaze was originally used on holy days in Pagan times and Druids claim fertility dances took place. Later both the turf and church ones seem to have been used for penances, according to tradition, monks used the maze for their penances, painfully traversing it on their knees. With prayers said at fixed points along the path: the folds of the maze may also have represented the folds of sin.

Breamore Mizmaze is enclosed by a grove of yew trees, suitably romantic for such an odd survival. Close to it is a Bronze Age barrow. The Mizmaze itself is fenced: necessary for its preservation.

The Mizmaze is not accessible by car, which adds to its atmosphere. The usual route is a footpath of a little over a mile up through the woods from near Breamore House, but footpaths lead up to it from all directions. One from Whitsbury leads around Castle Ditches. All make good walks.

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

The Mizmaze is not accessible by car. Leave your vehicle at the Breamore House and Museum car park which is clearly signposted from the A338. On foot, follow the signs to Breamore House (no need to buy a ticket) and follow the bridlepath past the house and all the way through Breamore Wood and keep going. A large sign indicates the final turn you need to take to reach the miz-maze.

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