My first visit here ended in a big fat frustrated failure, it was about ten years ago, some years before I got online, so long ago that my youngest was still in nappies, more of which were urgently needed, and so my failure lasted for a decade, until now. Had I known what a beauty this place is I'd have been back ages ago, instead I only saw a photo of it a few years back and it's been on the list since. Why it took me so long to get back up here I don't know, it's not much more than a ten minute walk from the car, close to a major road or two. Damn i'm good.
Park next to the big corner around the farm, head left of the limestone paving, go up to the big egg shaped stone and the low stone wall that is a bield (some kind of shelter) and the stone circles are on the hill top, dead easy, unless you stumble around mapless and in the wrong place like I did ten years ago.
Brilliant. Apart from the big quarry all is good up here, the M6 is small and far away, the nearby Coalpit hill tries to entice one away from the circles, don't let it, and the views east and west to the Pennines and the inner lake district respectively are fantastic though distant.
The small northern ring is only half apparent, but for three big stones all would be lost to the turf.
The outer ring looks to be graded with the taller stones on the east, the inner ring seemed to echo this as the western stones were retreating under the grass. The inbetween stone is very interesting, half way between the two rings on the eastern side, it lines up with an outer ring stone and far off Kemp Howe now snuffed out by our need to travel. But, still all is well up here, the rings are in very good shape. Very good indeed. Get from off your arse now !!
I had a mooch about the circle last week to see if I could find the small ring to the north of the main circle. The ring is featured in Hob's post of T.Blands 1850 sketch of the circle http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/38165 and was also recorded in John Waterhouses survey of the circle for his wonderful book 'The Stone Circles of Cumbria'.
The ring is visible as a low mound with a few small stones barely poking through the soil. It's a case of feeling for the stones rather than looking for them.
It's interesting that both the nearby White Hag and Castlehowe Scar circles also have satellite features.
Sunday 29 June 2003
We parked atthe bottom of the hill where the road turns left into a tree-surrounded farm.
Following the path south up onto the moor, there’s a nice bit of particularly ‘old-looking’ (if you see it you’ll know what I mean) limestone pavement off to the right.
Walk past this and still looking right, you’ll very quickly see various lumps of rock, including 2 ‘erratics’ that are noticeably bigger than anything else. Wait until these 2 biggest stones line up with each other and strike off the path towards them.
Walk straight past the erratics, perhaps a couple of hundred yards keeping in as straight a line as you can. This should lead you to a point where you can’t miss the Oddendale circle, if not to the circle itself!
And we’re back in Gunnerkeld territory – a double circle, but this time under a really, really HUGE sky!!!! On such a sunny clear breezy day it really was like standing on the roof of England!!!
Burl’s description of Oddendale calls it (and by implication, Gunnerkeld) a ‘composite ring’ and likens it to some on Dartmoor that I don’t think I’m familiar with. His description makes it sound almost like it was originally like a ‘mini-Clava Cairn or something….
The actual stones here are generally fairly small – smaller than Gunnerkeld, anyway I think. Otherwise, again Fitzcoraldo’s said it all! A beautiful place, though pretty inhospitable in bad weather and boggy a lot of the time, I suspect. Liked it a lot.
This is a beautiful concentric circle. I was inspired to come here by a lovely aerial photograph that Stubob sent me of the site. Photography on the ground is difficult due to the size of the circle (30 metres) and the flatness of the site. The inner ring is 5 metres across and is described by Burl as a paved ring cairn. This must have been something to see in it's hayday.
You can see the factory chimneys of Shap quite clearly from this site which implies that the shap complexes would have been visible back in the day.
There is a stone between the outer and inner rings which forms an alignment with the cairn to the east, the circle and Shap. There are also three aligned boulders to the north of the circle.
In summary, an intriguing site, well worth a visit.
Always a highlight of a visit to the Shap area...The size and shape of the stones are just perfect. The limestone pavement you cross to get to the stones has some great formations in it, as it's weathered thru the years.
Make sure you see this circle.
The Oddendale circle is completely surrounded by modern intrusions - the Shap cement works, the M6, a railway line, a quarry and a regimented plantation surround this site on all sides. However the site itself is in pretty good condition and is a great example of a concentric circle. The site is close enough to plenty of other sites (Iron Hill, Kemp Howe, Castlehowe, Gunnerkeld) to make it worth the visit.
"The one near Odindale Head is similar, at first sight inspires a truly Ossianic feeling. It is situated on a hill of "dark brown heath," it is formed of an outer circle of thirty stones not so large as those at Gunnerskeld, twenty-five yards in diameter, within which is another circle of twenty-one stones closely packed to each other seven yards in diameter; within this are a number of other stones irregularly laid, similar to Gunnerskeld. It was opened in presence of Rev. J. Simpson, but nothing was found excepting a small portion of black carbonaceous matter. A peculiar feature is that there is an upright stone placed outside the inner and within the outer circle on the south-east side. On the north side about seven yards distant is the remains of another circle, fourteen yards in diameter, having another within of four yards, but many of the stones have been removed.
Respecting the origin of these circles authors differ considerably, some considering them to be the temples of the Druids, within whose mystic bounds sacrificial rites were performed; while others attribute them to a later people, the Pagan Saxons, Angles or Danes.
Odindale, like Gunnerskeld, is a name significant of the latter people. Odin was the one great god of the Gothic nations, from whom they all claimed descent, and to whom, of course, their greatest honours were paid."
Shap Granite is very distinctive and easily identified by the large pink feldspar crystals contained within it's matrix.
Shap granite is a very popular building stone and can be found used in buildings all over the UK.
As Iron man says Oddendale concentric stone circle can be tricky to find without an OS map, as my first attempt to find it failed so completely I can heartily agree. This standing stone is a good point to aim for when looking for the circle. To be honest whilst we were there I had no idea that this stone would be a site on here, but I took some photos anyway, as you do.
The stone can in no way be said to be standing, it sits politely, waiting for some far off inevitable end, but it is not alone, it has a friend, ten yards away is another smaller stone, not particularly aligned upon anything , but if one is a standing stone, why not the other. Thunder, thunder, thunder stones, there's lots of thunder stones round here, but what is it about them, were they moved about in prehistory by people, or are they where the glaciers left them ? and what did the ancients think of them ?
I like 'em.
I neglected to read any of the field or misc notes before I came here, I'd seen the pictures and thought "ah, that's a nice little circle", and it was too. The three little stones in the circle center are like part of a mini limestone pavement, it's all very attractive, too attractive it turns out. Upon my return I find out it might not be ancient, how disappointing, I would have liked it to have been old, it doesn't impact upon my actual time there, obviously, but, like, you know, what ever, it's still a nice little ring in a nice place.