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

Rawthey Bridge

Stone Circle (Destroyed)


In my mind I was already composing my letter to John Waterhouse, Aubrey Burl and the Cumberland and Westmorland Archaeological Society. The subject of letter? How I had rediscovered the lost stone circle of Rawthey Bridge.
The plan
Drive to Rawthey bridge
Search the Hillside
Find, describe and photograph the circle.

I arrived at the bridge mid afternoon on the eve of the summer solstice. There is a good parking spot a few yards south of the bridge and a gated footpath on the opposite side of the road.
I had two grid references for the circle, one placed the site on the hillside close to the bridge, and the second reference placed the circle on the top of the nearby hill called Bluecaster.
Unusually for me I decided to use a sort of semi-methodological approach to my search for any trace of the circle. Starting at the bridge I followed the footpath for about a mile, checking out any possible sites either side of the path. I then turned back on myself and headed north east and uphill to the top of Bluecaster and then finally back down to the bridge. This triangular search would cover the two grid refs I had for the site and much more besides.
Unfortunately I didn't find any trace of the circle. The hillside shows plenty of evidence of human activities mainly in the form of trackways and drilled rocks so fairly safe to say that good amounts of stone have been removed from this hillside to be used for building, road mending and also to feed the many lime kilns that operated in this area from Roman times to the eighteenth century.
So that was that, no circle, no glory but not a wasted day. The views of both the Howgill Fells and the limestone scars around Wild Boar Fell are spectacular.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
3rd July 2007ce

Comments (1)

My Dad had an old farmer friend who remembered his grandfather talking about using the stones from the circle to rebuild the bridge over the Rawthey. Local opinion puts the circle somewhere around 54°22'30.25"N 2°26'23.43"W Creyr Posted by Creyr
8th October 2010ce
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