The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Swarth Fell

Stone Circle


I picked the hottest day of the year, so far, to wander up from Pooley Bridge to Swarth Fell. The path from the Cockpit splits a few dozen metres to the west of the circle and as long as you take the left hand fork you should be ok.

It's a long slow slog to the top but worth it for the views alone. A GPS is useful to help you find the circle, I actually walked past it and had to track back along the valley of the Swarth Beck before I found the circle (despite having a gps in my bag!).

GPS Stuff: NY 45662 19205 - Altitude 551.07m.

The circle is a weird one. A semi circle of thin, flat, irregular flags defines 60% of a circle. The remaining 40% is pretty stone-free, it's as if someone has moved the stones. The position of the stones is in an enclosed valley beneath Loadpot Hill at the head of the Swarth Beck. The only open view is of the plain beyond Penrith to the North there is however a low col that affords a view along the Greta Valley with Skiddaw and Blencathra in the distance.

All in all this is a very strange place, the circle may be associated with the Swarth Beck but this isn't a satisfactory explanation as the beck simply drops down the fell to Lake Ullswater. I think a more probable explanation is that the circle is associated with the trackway known as High Street which visits many prehistoric sites on it's meandering route from Penrith to Windemere.

As for vibes, I didn't really enjoy the place, it took a lot of effort to get to the site and I thought I would be rewarded with the physical elation I often experience upon reaching a circle. None of that was present here and as I sat eating my lunch I was attacked by a huge, persistant, homicidal horse fly who was intent on lunching on me. It was me or him!

All in all it is well worth the effort to visit this strange circle, it provides a physical challenge and your reward is an ever changing horizon with beautiful views of the upland fells and a wonderful panorama of Moor Divock.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
29th June 2005ce
Edited 3rd July 2005ce

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