Site 5

Silence of Light – under High Bridge over the High Street

Go below the noise of the High Street to the watery quiet. Take the stairs between the buildings down to the river, your back to Brayford Pool. Focus on the arched stone tunnel under the building. The River Witham slips through silently throwing dancing light about, and the purest white of gliding swans.

The silence here is suggested by the visual. At particular times of mirror quiet water and bright morning light, a halo appears – a circle of light formed by the joining of the arch and its reflection, a tunnelled space that silence leaks through. Boatmen in quiet concentration navigated heavily-laden coal barges through this bright narrow space and named it the Glory Hole.
The collaboration of our senses allows interplay between us and our world, our perceptions. Hearing and seeing are our 'out there' senses, delivering to us the interior bulk and outward surface of what's not us. With our looking comes expectant listening and with this we enter into relationship with the expression of things - at least that's what we used to do. Most of us today don't bother noticing. A particular event of, say, sun on water rarely speaks to us anymore.
The bridge tunnel viewed from the other end is very different - suggesting, as dark tunnels do, mysterious echoes, amplification and unidentified sounds.
High Bridge was first built in 1160AD and is the oldest bridge of its kind in the UK.