|In the parish of Millum, in the same county, there did exist the remains of a Druidical temple, which the country people called " sunken kirk," i.e., a church sunk into the earth. It is nearly a circle of very large stones, pretty entire, only a few fallen upon sloping ground in a swampy meadow. At the entrance there are four large stones, two on each side, at the distance of 6 feet. Through these you enter into a circular area, 29 yards by 30. The entrance is nearly south-east. It seems probable that the altar stood in the middle, as there are some stones still to be seen there, though sunk deep in the earth. The situation and aspect of the Druidical temple near Keswick is in every respect similar to this, except the rectangular recess, formed by ten large stones, which is peculiar to Keswick.
And I am informed that there are other remains of stone circles in these northern districts, where there yet exist so many popular superstitions and customs. Indeed, we find in Camden's account of Westmoreland allusion made to the ruins of one ancient round structure, which has always been considered to have been a temple dedicated to Diana, but which i now known by the name of Kirkshead. Many such instances will be found in the ancient monuments of Scotland. Sometimes there are two circles of stones, at others three circles, having the same common centre.
From the general arrangement of the stones, one of the largest having a cavity, at the bottom of which there is a passage for any liquid sacrifice to run down the side of it, nothing can be more evident than that the triple circle of stones was intended as an heathen temple, where Pagan priests performed their idolatrous ceremonies ; and what is most remarkable is, that most of these singular structures are still known by the name of chapels or temple stones.
J. T. Blight
The Gentlemans Magazine
Posted by fitzcoraldo
4th November 2007ce
Edited 4th November 2007ce