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

Sunbiggin Tarn

Stone Circle


I have lots of daft notions about trying to identify significant prehistoric sites along the borders of Yorkshire and Cumbria. I can't accept that the monuments and rock art just stop in a certain place and then re-start a few miles down the road.
I recently visited the circles of Rey Cross. Lune Head and Mudbeck they all exist in this megalithic 'liminal zone' and I was hoping that the circle at Sunbiggin Tarn would be more of the same.
The circle is quite easy to locate as long as you get yourself on the right road. Sunbiggin Tarn is signposted at Raisbeck.
Once you have past the tarn you will encounter a small hill to your right, park up on the verge and walk up the few dozen metres to the top of the hill then look north-north-east and you should see a few low stones in the long tussocky grass.
Once you reach the circle you'll see at least 20 small low stones half buried in the grass surrounding a number of central stones. The diameter of the circle is approximately 5 metres. The stones are a mixture of shap granite and other stones including sandstone.
There are two possible outliers to the circle both 11 metres from the ring one to the north and the other to the south west.
My best guess is that this is a ring cairn, possibly a double ring cairn.
As stone monuments go this one is fairly small and insignificant but I think the location is the key element here. The circle overlooks the tarn and has beautiful views over to the majestic Howgill fells. To the west of the circle are the dramatic limestone scars of Knott and Great Asby which jutt out into the lovely Lune valley.

If your planning to visit Gamelands I would recommend adding this lovely little ring to your itinary.

The GPS stuff is
NY 68047 08376
Elev 282m
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
30th June 2005ce
Edited 29th August 2006ce

Comments (2)

I often used to stay at Whygill Head farm just north of sunbiggin tarn. (In fact have just returned from a week there.) I have not seen the circle you refer to but have seen the very definite one west of raisbeck at OS 91 640082. Have you seen th Friends of the lakeland sit They have 13 pages on Little Asby common and its history. Posted by helenamac
7th September 2008ce
Thanks Helen,
I'd not seen the FLD website, it's that's an excellent resource.
The Sunbiggin cairn circle is site 78 (page 84) in the gazetteer.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
8th September 2008ce
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