Why preserve the Heritage?

Why preserve the past? In that axiom "a nation without a past has no future", many are not convinced. How can it help us in this modern world in which we face a future the human race has never experienced before? Or has it?


Architecture outlives written records and all too often oral myth is discounted. It has only been by the putting together of the visual/architectural heritage and the spoken "legend" with only scanty written clues that has enabled us at Hammerwood to piece together the history and mythological concept of the house. The house echoes architecture of an ancient epoch with correct architectural details - the process of discovering the history of Hammerwood has thereby provided an excellent training (combined with the background of a Physics at Imperial College) for a parallel quest which I hope you will enjoy sharing with me.

According to Greek legend, Hephaestus fell out of heaven, bumped his foot, became lame and once confined to earth helped his creations particularly by showing us how to make things out of metal. His Sister Athena was Goddess of Science and she helped Prometheus steal the fire of the gods resulting in a parallel of the fall of man arising out of eating from the tree of knowledge. Genesis records that man was exiled to till the soil in an earth that grew thorns and the Greek legends talk of two punishments - (1) the making of woman by Athena and Hephaestus - just like Eve was grown out of a rib of Adam - in our knowledge of DNA that's little surprise and our genetic engineers are going to be able to do a similar thing imminently and (2) the event gave us winter. 50 years after Hiroshima we know but the generations who carried the legends would not have known of the fire of the Gods that was capable of giving us winter. Chapter 5 of Pope's translation of Homer's Iliad talks of Hephaestus having made a special lance which created smoking steel on impact and another that produced the noise of 10,000 men dying at once and black fumes noxious to life.

Plato recorded that the first man was made by Hephaestus. Perhaps he did it out of curiousity, as one of our genetic engineers will do - (just like Frankenstein!) - but contrary to the instructions of the Scientific Ethics Council - or perhaps he did it on orders but something went wrong. If you went to another planet to mine certain minerals necessary for your technology and you found that you were unable to work there because the atmosphere was hostile to your chemistry, might you not clone from your own DNA biological images in a chemistry compatible with the planet to mine the minerals for you? Perhaps this might have been why Prometheus took the side of man against the Gods because he and Athena were sorry for us. There's also a theory that when Athena's lot bred with us and we multiplied against the orders of the higher Council in charge, one day the Council discovered. This and other readings of Heroditus, Homer and Plato lead to an interpretation of the Parthenon Frieze which is equally valid whichever the scenario posed. The process of this quest produces more valuable conclusions than the mere knowledge itself

(michael.pell@freenet.hamilton.on.ca responds:
"This sounds almost identical to the much older Sumerian tale of creation concerning En.Ki and his sister Ninharsag who were credited with the creation of the human genus homo sapiens by the genetical combination of their genes with that of a naturally evolving beast already found on Earth. En.Ki was also considered to be Ptah of Egyptian fame.")

David Pinnegar discovered Hammerwood Park just after a physics degree at Imperial College, London. It had nothing to do with x-ray crystallography, bio-physics, quantum theory and cosmology, but the house moved him and his family to rescue it. Somehow, they knew they would return - perhaps it was something powerful about those extraordinary columns - to find it either a wreck of sandstone rubble or a modern concrete property development.

For the past thirteen years therefore the family have battled, against all the odds, to restore it and open it to the public for the enjoyment and inspiration of everyone. Over the years of living there and showing it to visitors, David Pinnegar has been increasingly influenced by sculptural details. These include a copy of the Parthenon Frieze which was given to him in 1984 together with plaques derived from the Borghese Vase which were used by the Architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe to symbolise the purpose of the house in 1792 as an Apollo's Hunting Lodge.

Increasingly, David Pinnegar finds his thoughts aligned with those of Latrobe before him. Latrobe spent his formative years (12 to 20) away from home at the Moravian Paedegogium at Niesky (15 miles north of Görlitz) and later at the seminary at Barby (north of Halle in Saxony). There he was presented with an extremely rich intellectual program and a whole range of disciplines including not only music and all the sciences but ancient history and languages, Bible history and theology. He knew Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Whilst Count Zinzendorf, one of the leaders of the renewal of the Moravian Church, had been one of the first ecumenicals, Latrobe was expelled by the school for his "doubt and disbelief concerning the truth of evangelical teaching." Near the end of his life, Latrobe wrote that he was a professed member of the American Protestant Episcopal Church, "chiefly on account of the liberality of its practice" of "Christian indifferentism" wherein all modes of Christian faith were viewed as beneficial to their adherents if sincerely believed.

Latrobe's life and career speaks of a constant passion to see beyond the horizon. In 1809 he was reading a paper to the American Philosophical Society on the Principles and Practice of Building in India.

If anyone could have known of the significance of the sculptural plaques which he used at Hammerwood, Latrobe would.


If you are a passenger on a long distance train, don't you have a special view on life? There are peculiar gates at the side of the track called level crossings and they are always closed, often with cars parked behind? Aren't the train drivers leading us, pushing only forward in too much of a hurry to ask the car drivers and the man on the gate what really happens at the crossing? And no-one feels they can stop the train.

In the brief outline which follows, I hope to encourage all who believe in Creation - and perhaps some who don't - to be brave enough to pull the emergency cord and to stop and listen.

Now that we are starting to dismantle that chain of chemicals which make up all living matter, are we intellectually arrogant enough to think that no-one has done it before?

For some years we have manufactured chemicals by using designed bacteria as micro robots. In the early summer of 1995 we have read in the paper, for instance, of DNA computers, DNA vaccines to cure all ills and now the creation of "mice that roar " (The Times 29 May p14, 19 June p18, 23 June p5).

A new perspective has opened upon our reading of our old biblical texts - from Genesis to Revelation - together with all the other myths and legends of Creation all around the world in all of the local religions.

David Pinnegar, B.Sc. A.R.C.S. July 1995.

The Challenges of the Millennium

There is something uneasy in modern society. In the back of our minds, the modern world has disturbed us.

Traditional values no longer seem the same. Our foundations have been shaken. Our collective ideas are at sea. Modern divorce rates suggest there is little future in marriage but social studies show that children from split families suffer. Are our priests in disarray? Are gays made in the image of God? Are unions between men and women outside marriage OK? The Victorians said it was sin: some modernists say that perhaps it is otherwise.

Does God exist? He did until Darwin said he didn't. Some still say He does because they believe. Some say the scientists know He doesn't: Genesis couldn't have happened. We came from monkeys didn't we? And is some idiot going to blow us all up with stolen Russian plutonium? And what about DNA and gene research - will Jurassic Park happen: how far should we interfere with nature? 20th century technology is leading us into uncharted waters - or is it?

Where are our values? What do we have to guide us?

Isn't that uneasy feeling people have in the back of their minds that uncomfortable book that no-one ever teaches you at school - that book in the back of the Bible: Revelation?

Isn't it the scenario of a nuclear war at the end of time seen in Revelation? And now that we are resurrecting bacterial genes from age old bees cast in amber, do we not see the possibility that those plagues of which we are warned in Revelation being a reality?

The Church warns us of sin, death and hell. Oh dear - how do we recognise "the beast"? Where do we see the beast; what do we do? If we see him will he be stopped by the chirpy "Have a good day", so fashionable, brand of Christianity? Much of the population isn't convinced.

A 21st Century agenda:

The challenges of Eden - the trees of knowledge and life.

1. The challenge of the Tree of Knowledge

Is this the time of Revelation? How can mankind feel its way?

The one thing we know about the future is that it hasn't happened yet. We can change it. What a responsibility.

In the light of the 20th century the tree of knowledge of Genesis is clearly the understanding of matter and energy and the good and evil to which it can be used.

"The beast" of Genesis and of Revelation is that figurative serpent which tempts mankind to turn nuclear fission into Hiroshima instead of constructive energy to the good of all.

People are depressed: we know that apocalypse need not happen but seem not to see a direction in which we can avoid it. Governments appear now hell-bent on further testing of nuclear weapons.

The one thing we know about the past is that it has happened. It is the only thing we can cling onto with which to brave the future. But is the past relevant? People have rejected it.

Why preserve the past? In that axiom "a nation without a past has no future", many are not convinced. How can it help us in this modern world in which we face a future the human race has never experienced before? Or has it?

It was a book by an American professor, George Hersey, The Lost Meaning of Classical Architecture, which started me on the road towards the understanding of Latrobe's architecture here at Hammerwood and thereafter to inspiration for the future.

The Greeks didn't write 'Town Hall' above their buildings - or Temple of Athena or whatever. They symbolised the function of a building by its decorative symbolism.

It was a Cambridge graduate, Michael Trinder, who discovered the architectural meaning of Hammerwood as a hunting lodge as expressed by the temples dedicated to Apollo. These include plaques derived from the Borghese Vase which show the anointing of Apollo before a sacrificial ceremony and after which an intoxicated mortal is depicted being picked up and rescued by one of the immortals. I note an aural tradition repeated by my grand-mother that "the gods look after children and drunken men".

I have been constantly and increasingly impressed in researching the history of Hammerwood by the power, tenacity and truth of aural tradition.

It is apparent that the Borghese vase figures, originally just decoration around a vase are no graven images or idols of worship, but are merely artistic records of the collective visual memory of the ancient Greeks of a past history, which indeed they saw. They witnessed immortals when they were on this earth at the same time as and sharing the same feasts as mortals: we were created and did not evolve from the apes.

Genesis 6 seems to provide a striking correlation between the giants mentioned therein and those which caused problems to the Greek deities, together with a further correlation between those regarded by the ancient Greeks as their gods and the "Sons of God" recorded in Genesis 6 and Job 1 - and their sons (Achilles etc.) as the Genesis 6 "men of renown".

(Object 1: to investigate religions for such common correlation demonstrating all to be from common historical fact and origin, thereby persuading the differing peoples and religions of the world that they are all from the one creation, not having evolved from monkeys, and thereby viewing each individual religion as an equally valid means to an ultimate understanding rather than an end in itself. The correlation between the creation texts of multiple religions has been well done by Graham Hancock in his book Fingerprints of the Gods, Chapter 24.

In the Iliad, the Gods seem to display super-human technologically advanced antics - jumping up and down at will between earth and heaven, accompanied by aerial phenonomae and throwing lances producing "black fumes noxious to life" (Book 5, Pope's translation ). This doesn't sound much like the effect of conventional gunpowder but more of nuclear capability.

In Genesis 6, there is a common image between a world full of strife and the Trojan Wars of the Iliad, resulting in God's dismay at the human race, wishing to do away with it, telling Noah of his intention and destroying that creation.

It seems a striking coincidence that in the discovery of the Troy of the Trojan War of the Iliad by archaeologists the coastline seems to have changed very dramatically. Alternatively the Troy of Asia Minor might have been nothing to do with the war: the place might have been named after another city of another continent of a former epoch, now long since lost. After all, were America to vanish, archaeologists might look for the site of the then mythical Boston Tea Party in England. Or were Greece to vanish, people would think that the site of the copy of the Parthnon in Tennessee was the Acropolis and think then that descriptions of the magnificent hill and other temples were mere symbolic myth. Perhaps Plato's Critias story which describes Atlantis and mentions that there had been a war between the Athenians and the Atlanteans is true? One might speculate whether the changed coastline or the loss of the original Troy could have been a consequence of the flood.

Hancock notes the accord of numerous myths that there was a flood as an intervention of the gods because mankind had 'forgotten his Creator' and the world was full of strife. Genesis of the Biblical Torah, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Iraqi Sumer traditions, the Greek legend of Prometheus, the American tribal legends, the legends of the far East - China, Laos and Northern Thailand recount the same events. Myths of India, Japan, Vietnam and aboriginal Australia confirm the flood and a new divine creation. Of all the legends, Chapter 175 of the Book of the Dead is particularly clear in the speech of the Moon God Thoth:
"They have fought fights, they have upheld strifes, they have done evil, they have created hostilities, they have made slaughter, they have caused trouble and oppression . . . [Therefore] I am going to blot out everything I have made."

It has been noted in (The Genesis Flood , J.C.Whitcomb and H.M.Morris) if Noah's flood was an intervention on behalf of the Gods, its effects together with the separation of the continents and the anaerobic entrapment and decay of living matter to produce petroleum, could have been produced by Hydrogen bomb explosions - the radioactivity of which would have invalidated all carbon 14, electroluminescence, chlorine 36 and other radioactive dating techniques for all earlier events. These would read immediately prior objects as hundreds of thousands or millions of years older.

Legend talks of a past super-civilisation destroying itself with its technology - Atlantis. Graham Hancock in Fingerprints of the Gods finds objectively that the missing continent could be beneath Antarctica, according to recent seismic surveys.

Hancock notes recent evidence for dating the Pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx at c.10500 BC and other evidence for world-wide cataclysm at around 13,000 years ago. He notes that the Sphinx could have been a lion's head on a lion's body, re-carved with a human head in the time of the pharaohs. He notes the lion figure points towards the rising sun, which last rose in the constellation of Leo c. 13,000 years ago. He notes common encryption of dating and numbers concerning procession of the equinox cycles in early source legends and texts, particularly the South American Mayan calendar.

Every parent cannot escape noticing that the human race is programmed each generation to ask the question "why" from the age of two. Accordingly one interpretation of Revelation could be that the number 666, being the man associated with "the beast", refers to the number of generations of man of the current creation. At about 5 generations per century, we could reasonably expect those who made mankind to know that after ejection from Eden mankind will have rediscovered nuclear energy and the tree of life, DNA, almost simultaneously after about 13,000 years.

Assuming, for the sake of argument, the true existence of God and the sons of God as in Genesis 6, one can return comfortably to the Borghese vase and the communion there depicted between the mortals and immortals. This is reminiscent of the Promethian myth: the argument between mankind and his Creator started at a feast attended by both mankind and the immortals then on earth. (This connection appears also in the Thens myth of Laos and northern Thailand.)

The argument resulted in Prometheus stealing the fire of the Gods and presenting it to mankind - akin to "Lucifer" or the beast of Genesis and Revelation - and causing the subjection of the earth to annual winters and the flood. Now we worry about what will be the use of stolen Russian Plutonium or the actions of the French military in the Pacific?

Why do we have winter? How did the earth come to be off axis? How did the continents become separated and perhaps Atlantis be thrown down to the South Pole?

Revelation 8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

"The Times" 17th October 1995: "Damaged radioactive fuel rods in rusting hulk. . . . Western scientists estimate that the Kola peninsula, home of the Russian nuclear submarine fleet, is one of the most contaminated areas in the world, with many ageing and potentially unstable civilian and military nuclear reactors. Bellona, a Norwegian nuclear research group whose Murmansk offices were raided by Russian security forces last week, estimates that there are 317 active and disused nuclear reactors in the region; about two-thirds of all radioactive waste dumped in the world's oceans has been poured into the sea near by. ... The Lenin, the first nuclear icebreaker launched 30 years ago, is now a rusty hulk ... It suffered two serious nuclear accidents, and in 1967 the entire reactor and contaminated cooling circuit were simply cut out of the hull and dumped at sea. ... In all, the ship contains 621 fuel assemblies; unless they are reprocessed, the ship will remain radioactive for another 300,000 years."

What a mountain of the Promethian fire of the Gods is teetering upon falling into the sea.

It has often been noted that Genesis chapter 2 is a separate story of creation distinct from that of chapter 1, additionally distinguished by two different names for God: Elohim and Yahweh. At Adam and Eve's ejection from the Garden of Eden, mankind is sentenced to an earth which grows thorns and thistles - a fundamental change from the Garden of Eden, as if another creation (or modification of the earth). A new creation then begins with Noah and is therefore the fourth milestone in the biblical progress of mankind.

Hancock quotes the Hopi Indians:
"The first world was destroyed, as a punishment for human misdemeanours, by an all- consuming fire that came from above and below. The second world ended when the terrestrial globe toppled from its axis and everything was covered with ice. The third world ended in a universal flood. The present world is the fourth. Its fate will depend on whether or not its inhabitants behave in accordance with the Creator's plans..."

(Object 2: to spread the universal message of religions to all peoples leading to the greater understanding of all and thereby the elimination of motivation towards war. "Go back, research and believe what your fathers believed in" Either obey the universal message summed up by Christ as "Love thy neighbour as thyself and do away with the greed for money" - or witness the friction between peoples causing the destruction of us all with the technology we have discovered) (Object 3: to seek the total abolition of nuclear weapons and their development.)

2. The Challenge of the Tree of Life

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