Canonteign Labyrinth

5 March 2022

 Canonteign Falls is the site of world-renowned Maze artist Adrian Fisher’s latest Labyrinth.  Seven paved rings have been set into the grass overlooking the Devon countryside to mark the owners, Chris and Kate Baylis’s 60th birthdays.  In its centre is a polished stainless steel mirror disc Torus by the artist David Harber.  

Canonteign Labyrinth is based upon life’s journey and we hope that you’ll find the quotes along the path interesting and thought-provoking. 

Do you know the difference between a labyrinth and a maze?  Neither did we when we first began this project.  

A maze is a confusing pathway with many branches, paths and dead ends.  It is essentially a puzzle: a challenging, fun experience but which can also be stressful if you get lost!  Mazes first appeared around 400 years ago although they were mentioned by Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales in the late 14th Century. The oldest surviving UK maze is the Hampton Court maze, commissioned by William III around AD1700.

In contrast, a labyrinth has one single route which twists and turns yet continues on the same single path.  

Labyrinths appeared in Greek mythology some 4,000 years ago.  The most famous labyrinth was designed by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos. Its function was to hold the Minotaur, the monster eventually killed by the hero Theseus. Daedalus had made the Labyrinth so cleverly that he could barely escape it after he built it! One of the most famous real life labyrinths can be found in Chartres Cathedral in France, built 800 years ago around AD1200. Unlike mazes, a walk through a labyrinth is intended as a reflective, contemplative, spiritual journey ending in the centre.  In years gone the centre was considered the point from which you ascended upwards to heaven and the after-life.