Castlerigg Stone Circle
In late 2016 after spending some time in Cumbria I got a chance to visit Castlerigg Stone Circle.
It had been on my list of sites to see for some time and finally when I did get to see it I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Whilst the weather wasn’t very favourable on the day I visited, the sheer uniqueness of its location could still be appreciated.
Located just outside the village of Keswick in England’s beautiful Lake District, the circle stands on a superb natural plateau commanding a superb 360 degree view over the surrounding fells. The circle is composed of 38 free standing stones, some up to 3 metres (10 feet) high. This is one of Britain's earliest stone circles dating back to the Neolithic period some 4000 to 5000 years ago.
Like the majority of Stone Circles, the original purpose of the site is unknown. It could have been used as a trading post. Three stone axes have been discovered inside the circle. In the Neolithic period the axes were made from volcanic stone quarried in the fells. Other possible uses include a meeting place for social gatherings, a site for religious ceremonies and rituals or even an astronomical observatory with the stones being aligned to the sun, moon and stars.
Castlerigg Stone Circle was one of the first sites to be covered under the Ancient Monuments Protection Act in 1888 and in 1913.
It’s a wonderful archaeological site and certainly one of Britain’s most spectacularly located monuments.
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