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The Shap Avenues

Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue


In addition to the quote given by A.L. Lewis in Rhiannon's post below, the missing part of Stukeley's description can be found in his Iter. Boreal of 1725:-
On the south side of the town of Shap, six miles south of Penrith, we saw the beginning of a great Celtic Avenue, on a green common. This is just beyond the horrid and rocky fells, where a good country begins. This avenue is seventy foot broad, composed of very large stones, set at equal intervals: it seems to be closed at this end, which is on an eminence, and near a long flattish barrow, with stone works upon it: hence it proceeds northward to the town, which intercepts the continuation of it, and was the occasion of it's ruin; for many of the stones are put under the foundations of houses and walls, being pushed by machines they call a betty, or blown up with gunpowder. Though it's ourney be northward, yet it makes a very large curve, or an arc of a circle, as those at Abury, and passes over a brook too. A spring likewise arises in it, near the Greyhound inn. By the brook is a little round sacellum, composed of twelve stones, but lesser ones, set by one great stone belonging to the side of the avenue: the interval of the stones is thrity-five foot, half the breadth of the avenue: the stones, no doubt, did all stand upright, because three or four still do; but they were not much higher then, than now as fallen, because of their figure, which is thick and short: they are very large, and prodigiously hard, being nothing else but a congeries of crystals of very large sizes, of a flakey nature. Houses and fields lie across the track of this avenue, and some of the houses lie in the inclosure: it ascends the hill, crosses the common road to Penrith, and so goes into the corn-fields on the other side of the way westward, where some stones are left standing; one particularly remarkable, called Guggleby stone. The people say these were set up by enchantment: and the better sort of folks, as absurdly affirm, they are made by art. I doubt not but they are gathered somewhere off the surface, among the fells, and that there was a great temple of the old Britons, such as that at Abury, which it resembles very much, as far as I can judge at present; for the rainy weather, which in this country is almost perpetual, hindered me from making at this time a thorough disquisition into it.
Hob Posted by Hob
17th September 2008ce
Edited 17th September 2008ce

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