Whatever your view of the truth behind the various claims in this book (and if your of a ration frame of mind you'll probably be more than a little sceptical) you can't deny the importance of this book in the developement of what Professor Ronald Hutton has called 'The Second Romantic Age'.
In the sixties the Beatles went to India for a spiritual experience. What this book showed is that sacred landscrapes can be found much nearer home. Michell took something old, Alfred Watkins's The Old Straight Track, something true, archaeological evidence for astronomical alignments at Stonehenge, and something esoteric, Chinese 'Dragon Lines, and welded them together to produce a something new and original.
Scientifically speaking it might not stand up to close examination, but the result of this book, and its successors, is to Re-enchant the British landscape and make people look for the numinous in England's Green and Pleasant Land.
This book builds a narrative for a prehistoric megalithic science whose achievements are now largely forgotten. Starting in the 5th millennium BC, at Carnac (Brittany, France), it is clear that an original metrology and type of geometry was developed in order to understand astronomical time periods in a way quite unfamiliar to present day science. After astronomical works, interpreted as leading to the form of monuments, megalithic science moved to understanding the shape and size of the earth using the same techniques and in order to complete this work, some of its best astronomers moved to Egypt so that by 2500-2600 BC, two distinct yet different monuments were constructed, one the Great Pyramid in Egypt and the other Stonehenge in southern England, each recording a simple but effective model for the earth using the same metrological knowhow. see book page
Dear Friends: I have just finished this finest book I have ever encountered on the subject. Richard Heath has written with masterful confidence and great verbal elegance to bring this ancient “Pythagorean” science up to our moment in history—fully integrating contemporary developments in projective geometry and spiritual efforts to explicate meaning. Here is the “see and tell” method of the ancients employed to illuminate what we hide from ourselves.
Dear Richard, Many thanks for sending me 'Sacred Number'. I've been reading it and am very impressed by the way you approach this difficult subject to write about. Your grasp of it is quite admirable and so is your expression of it. I've talked about it with John Neal and we're both delighted with what you've done.