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


Stone Circle


This site, as so many of the entries above have said, is so clearly chosen for the fantastic way the mountains encircle this plateau. You can walk round and round and everywhere you see alignments of the stones with the mountains, echoes of the shapes in the skyline. This is the place to convince you that the landscape is sacred, that the space outside the circle is as important as whatever went on inside it. There have been many studies of the possible astronomical alignments here too - though personally the alignments with the landscape seem enough for me.

The circle is known as the Druid's Circle, but I haven't found any traditional stories which relate to the site. A relatively recent story concerns the experience of a Mr Singleton and his companion, who in 1919 saw some strange balls of white light moving among the stones.

From The English Mechanic, October 17th, 1919:

"Some years ago, during Easter, returning to Keswick from an ascent of Helvelly with a hotel acqauintance, we saw lights, no doubt will o' the wisps. It was so dark that we had to probe for the road walls with our sticks, when we were at a point near which the track branches off to the Druidical Circle (the stone circle of Castlerigg).

Then, all at once we saw a rapidly moving light, as bright as the acetylene bicycle lamp, and we instinctively stepped to the road boundary wal to make way for it, but nothing came.

As a matter of fact, the light travelled at right angles to the road, say 20 feet above our level, possibly 200 yards or so away.

It was a white light, and having crossed the road it suddenly went out... when we saw a number of lights, possibly a third of a mile or so away, directly in the direction of the Castlerigg stone circle, but of course much fainter, due to the distance. The lights were moving backwards and forwards horizontally; we stood observing them for a long time. Whilst we were watching... a remarkable incident happened, one of the lights, and only one, came straight to the spot where we were standing, at first very faint.

As it approached the light increased in intensity. When it came quite near I was in no doubt whether I should stop below the boundary wall, as the light would pass directly over us, but when it came close to the wall it slowed down, stopped, quivered and disappeared. The light was globular, white with a nucleus, possibly six feet or so in diameter, and just high enough above the ground to pass over our heads."

Bright oval lights were also seen more recently at the circle, in 1997 (admittedly by some people who were having 'a laugh and a drink')
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th May 2002ce

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