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

Great Langdale

Cup Marked Stone


A wee while ago Kate Sharpe had told me that Gabriel Blamires had discovered a cup marked rock in the woods behind the National Trust Campsite. So with this in mind I decided to take a look.
I had it in my mind that this stone was going to be tucked away somewhere and difficult to find. So myself and the terrier trudged through the swampy wood that borders the southern edge of the campsite. Needless to say we found nowt.
On the afternoon, and after a good lunch at the Old Dungeon Ghyll bar, I decided to have a mooch up to Side Pike and take some snaps of the Langdale Pikes across the valley. I couldn't believe it, I walked into the wood and there beside the path was the cup marked stone with a lovely shadow being cast across it by the afternoon sun.
The stone may not be its original location as the area has been forested, but owing to the size of the stone I suspect it is probably fairly close. The stone also looks as though it has been quarried, perhaps an edge was knocked of it during the forestry operations or perhaps a local waller has used the stone as a convient source of material for the nearby wall.

This is a great stone but its significance, as always, lies in it's location.
The stone sits just above the head of the Great Langdale valley at the junction of a number of, possibly prehistoric, trackways. The footpath beside the stone heads south around Side Pike and connects with east- west trackway via the Wrynose Pass which in turn connects with the HardKnott Pass and the Duddon Valley both of which lead to the coast.
There are views into Mickleden and the route north to Keswick along Langstrath via the Stake Pass or branching off onto the Honister Pass and accessing the coast via Buttermere, Crummock and the River Cocker. Carved stones have also be recently discovered along this route.
All in all this is a beautiful site, if you consider that the Langdale Pikes may have been the prehistoric focus of Cumbria then this stone may enhance that view. The existence of these carvings may also add weight to the prehistoric origins of the carvings at Copt Howe.
Access to the site is very good for those on foot. However for wheeled access there are two gates to negotiate and the ground can be a little boggy.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
24th August 2006ce
Edited 24th August 2006ce

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