Clapham Junction Malta is the most famous and largest collection of Malta’s Cart Ruts. Known in Maltese as Misraħ Għar il-Kbir (Misrah Ghar il-Kbir) and displayed on the tourist information signs as that. They are relatively near the town of Siġġiewi.
It can be split into a few sections, which makes it easier to understand what is where and anything puzzling in each part of the site. We have split them into the East, South and the main one investigated here is the West site.
There is also two small farm fields in the middle of the site! Just off to the west of the main site is the awesome Ghar il-Kbir (Great Cave). Cart ruts do extend pass the cave and even further west.
The main Clapham Junction Cart Ruts are on the side and top of the rolling hill that makes up this part of Misraħ Għar il-Kbir. There a lots of pairs of Cart Tracks all beside each other, like a 12 lane roadway.
Not only are they in a row they also can intersect and curve into each other – creating very sharp and defined V wedge shapes, which are some of the most iconic and puzzling images of Malta’s Cart Ruts.
Clapham Junction Malta – bottom of main field
At the bottom of the main site is the longest remaining cart Rut at Misrah Ghar il-Kbir – it veers away from the other (furthest defined pair of tracks to the east) and it starts as a normal wide and shallow Cart Track but once over the top of the rolling hill it suddenly turns into very deep channels and then into even deeper and very narrow channels. It is a real puzzle as to how the ancient vehicles that are suggested to have created these green roads could still move along them when they are so deep.
Malta’s Clapham Junction – top of main field
At the top there seems to be a two walkways/tracks that go through the Cart Ruts and the tracks have what are almost like starting or stopping blocks, parking places with bits of limestone left to act as a stopping wall. Some of these ends have flatter ends than you would naturally expect – have they been modified by man at some time in the past?
These as a loading bay with the transportation carts in the loading bay, waiting for rock to transport is very easy to visualise. The problem is where would such a large amount of limestone rock have come from in the local area to wiegh the carts down enough to friction wear away the rilles, to make the Cart Ruts?
Unless the Great Cave (Ghar il-Kbir) was created and dug out by man and moved to the sleds or wheeled vehicles and then moved down the slope? Or the whole area has been landscaped? There is a Cart Rut that goes across the slope and cuts through most of the pairs of tracks on the slope.
In this area there are a couple of what are called Punic Tombs or Phoenician Rock Tombs – a small ‘room’ cut down into the limestone rock with a narrow entance and a small ledge inside. They are called Punic Rock Tombs although no bodies or stuff was ever found inside. Could they have been used for another purpose? Why are they cut into the Cart Ruts themselves here and in other places? could they be something to do with the natural energy of the area?
In the main site there is also the Clapham Junction Rock Triangle that is very puzzling – why has it not been destroyed especially as the Cart Ruts go through the middle of it? Around Clapham Junction there are other surprising rock line triangles.
And if you observe close enough and are interested in other strange geology features you can find some limestone fault lines or perhaps a version of dykes cutting across these most famous of Malta’s Cart Tracks. How were they formed and why are they found here and near other Cart Ruts on the islands of Malta and Gozo?