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

Dovedale Henge

Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork


This site is thought to have started its life as a henge, later adapted by the Romano-British as a settlement with hut-circles. There is also evidence of a round cairn. See the ADS link below:-

It's about 100 feet in diameter, with what appear to be standing stones on top of the bank, in places, which is highest at the northern quarter, and seemingly constructed of rocks, which appear on the surface in this quarter.
When you visit it, you are struck more by its henge-like appearance than by any hut-circles, and the "standing stones" certainly seem too coincidental to be true. Some do appear to be large boulders "placed" on top of the bank, but others seem to have been erected. Even so, why are they on top of the bank if they're natural?
Visit it, and decide for yourselves. It's worth it for the views into beautiful upper Dovedale. The Brotherswater campsite, Sykeside Farm, is a few hundred yards away, as is the pub, always a bonus.
The Eternal Posted by The Eternal
20th June 2009ce
Edited 21st June 2009ce

Comments (4)

Hi Mr E
An interesting site.
is there a source citing this as a possible henge?
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
21st June 2009ce
Hi Fitz,
My source of the henge citing is the Archaeology Data Service website. Hopefully the link below will take you straight to it. Its in paragraph 2, line 2.

I've updated the fieldnotes to include the link. On the ground it certainly looks henge-like, and the stones are intriguing. It'd be good to find a bit more info, but I suppose they'd have to dig the site.
The Eternal Posted by The Eternal
21st June 2009ce
Cheers Mr E
An intriguing site in a significant location.
I'm hoping to be heading over that way in a couple of weeks so I'll have to give it a coat of looking at.
I was looking at staying at Side Farm but I think Sykeside has just edged it.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
21st June 2009ce
It's so close to the campsite, and the car park at Cow Bridge, it'd be rude not to visit it. It's marked on the map, that is the 2.5 inch (in old money) map of the NE Lakes.
It's not obvious when approaching from the valley, but is very obvious from above. The site is in an outstanding location.
When the photos were taken in May, it was after a morning of sleet, leading to a gorgeous Spring afternoon, with a patchwork of cloud and sun.
Look on ADS website, and search under Hartsop, and you'll find a prehistoric cairn nearby, just east of Hartsop itself, about 0.25 to 0.5 miles away, just below the track to Hayeswater, which I've not yet found myself.
Best of luck, and I hope you enjoy it.
The Eternal Posted by The Eternal
21st June 2009ce
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