This is the stone basin in the triangular field that now has a house over it
Images thanks to Mr Paul Smith
In Key to the Sacred Pattern Lincoln speculates that this was probably used in a purification ritual prior to entry into a Sacred Tomb.
This is close to where the witch Elizabeth Raynaund died.
The location of this pool, and its proximity to L'Aram is so interesting, I think, that I thought it would be worth reviewing in a bit more depth Henry Lincoln's thoughts on this, as expressed in Key to the Sacred Pattern, the book Roscoe has referred to above.
When HL first went here, in February 1974, he made the following observation about the little spinney in which the pool sits.
The field itself is featureless, save for the tiny copse which, from where we stand, seems quite unremarkable. Nothing about this clump of trees would cause the rare passerby to wish to cross the field to examine it more closely. A tangle of scrub and bramble enmeshes the trunks of a few small trees set in a circle. Evenly spaced around the circumference are four much taller trees, their slender tops barely moving in the still morning air. One of my friends, knowledgeable in such matters, remarks that the trees seem more or less of an age, planted perhaps a century ago. "About Sauniere's time," he comments.(pp. 136-37)
The denseness of this thicket, and its relative distance from the nearby farmsteads, makes HL inclined to dismiss more mundane explanations for the pool's existence. If it was for watering cattle, as some have suggested, how were they supposed to break through the trees to get to the water? Or get out again? A place for washing clothes, as was also suggested? All the nearby houses had their own spring and water trough. HL also notes that there is no trace of any sort of trodden down pathway across the field that might indicate habitual use.
So if not for regular use, for occasional, even ritual use, perhaps.
As we stand in contemplation of this minor mystery, another oddity presents itself. The pool is clean. Superficially, this may not seem worthy of notice, but I know, from the pond in my own garden, that such small basins of water very quickly accumulate a thick bed of mud. Indeed, soil is being carried in through the inlet notch of this pool, beneath which there is a deposit of mud sufficient, perhaps, to cover a large soup plate. Apart from this tiny trace, the smooth stone base of the pool is clearly visible. Moreover, as we now notice, after days of blustery weather, hardly a leaf or twig is floating on the surface of the water. It is impossible to draw from this evidence any other conclusion than that the pool has been very recently cleaned. We cast about around the clearing to find any sign of spoil which may have been removed from the basin, but there is no trace. This compounds the mystery. I know of no farmer who would take such pains over an isolated water reservoir. (p.137)
Two years later HL returns to the pool while making "Shadow of the Templars" and finds the following gruesome piece of evidence, indicating possible ritual use of the pool, although he does raise the alternative possibility of mischief making.
... I return to the pool with the director, Roy Davies. As we approach the tiny entrance way between the trees, we can see that something is hanging from one of the branches to the right of the gap. It proves to be the headless and half-charred carcass of a goat. The burnt skull, complete with horns, is lying within the clearing, beside the pool. Have we stumbled upon the evidence of some diabolic rite? I am inclined to think that this is less likely than the possibility of one of our habitual and invisible watchers has left us the unsavoury clue in order to make us think so. Even so, it seems that someone is aware of the unpleasant potentialities of the site. (p.139)
So we have a pool in an odd location. It appears to have no practical purpose, and yet it is carefully maintained. It is surrounded by a thick screen of trees which makes any goings-on inside invisible to passersby. The trees, given their size and girth, may well have been placed around the time of Sauniere. An animal carcass is put on display, suggesting ritual sacrifice. Now we have witchcraft in a nearby hamlet, or at least rumours of it, to throw into the mix. And this is all right in the centre of a giant natural pentagram, formed by five mountain peaks equal distances apart.
Nothing to see here, right?