There was a whole lot of activity round here in the distant past, the massive works at Shap are two kilometers to the west and southwest, North takes us past Gunnerkeld and on through a string of sites that doesn't really end till you get to Broomrigg twenty miles away and starting here at Castlehowe Scar going south across Oddendale there must be a dozen sites left out of who knows how many, there is much to see and several days would be needed to see all that a twenty mile square has to offer.
Ten large stones, three larger than the others from this now misshapen ring, one large stone has a long quartzy rib coiling round and over it, it's quite lovely. Another stone has a totally flat surface, pink and grey all of them.
There is a rumour about another smaller ring in the same field, and a stone row in the next field south, I think we saw them and I at least found them unconvincing, the smaller ring seems in line with the row so it could just be an old field boundary. That said I bet time team turn up soon and find all that and much more. you see.
The gate is still locked and getting more and more rickety with every winter and every climbing booted walker, that's us then. The trailer with a water container is still there and stood upon it we can look over the stones quite well.
I really liked this place. Easy to get to but with a feeling of remoteness.
Take the minor road east out of Shap which takes you past the cemetery and over the M6. Once you have gone over the motorway take the first turning on the right and you will see the stone circle in the field at the turning. There is plenty of room to park and it is a simple matter of climbing over the locked gate to get up close to the stones. (Even if you are unable to climb the gate the stones are easy to see) Up close the stones are a nice warm pink colour. I counted 10 stones. There are decent views to be had and I would well recommend a visit. As with all the sites I visited this week in the north of England I had the place to myself.
Not only is the gate padlocked, but its also very rickety so those of us who are a little on the plumper side of slim are best photographing from the lane. The barbed wire surrounding the wall seems a little mean too. AND the farmer had parked a water butt directly behind the circle, as if to stop you from any kind of pleasure from this pretty little circle. Charming. I considered driving my car through the gate but little Ralf is already a scratched and battered mess so I opted against it.
After a day braving the elements........ and having just endured the mother of all thunderstorms on Iron Hill [not far from The Thunder Stone, of course] the sun came out and bathed this lovely little circle in light for the remainder of the day.
The gate is still padlocked and the farmer drove past while I was there.... paused... and then carried on. Using this field exclusively to feed a few motley beasts is sacrilege, it really is.
The circle is remakably intact, which considering it's right up against a wall, and obviously in a well used field, strikes me as a little suscpicious. The cynic in me thinks that this is merely a collection of stone moved from elsewhere.....but who knows!!
About 10 metres to the North is a flattened stone circle, consisting of about 7 semi buried stones, probably only noticable during winter when the grass is shorter. Not sure if this is another cirlce, another cairn or something altogether different.
This is so close to a little lane, you could look at this without even getting out of your car. But do so, because it is quite charming. Climb over the gate (it's padlocked) and you'll see that the stones are big, almost out of proportion thethe diameter of the circle. But it's quite a complete. It has the same character as Little Meg to me.
Sunday 29 June 2003
On the way to Oddendale, stopped at Castlehowe Scar Stone Circle. Strange (to us) little circle this one.
There are about 9 or 10 fairly large low ‘boulder’ type stones that make up the ‘circle’. It certainly is quite like Iron Hill and Little Meg (though I’ve personally yet to go to L’il M).
Given that, it’s no surprise that it seemed to us more like a ruined cairn ‘kerb’ circle. Nice on a sunny day though! Shame the locked gate suggests people aren’t very welcome. Didn’t notice the alleged row though. Bugger, I’ll have to go back now.
No mad sheep today, just a padlocked gate with a barbed wire fence enclosing a poorly repaired stone wall, this sad little circle deserves a little tlc. The sooner the farmers catch onto the custodian tip, the better.
This small circle near Oddendale is of a similar size to the nearby Iron Hill cairn circle. When we visited five mad sheep were resident in the field which is fenced off and the gate padlocked. It seemed best just to observe from over the fence as those sheep looked just wrong, one came right up to the fence and wanted attention, another grunted wierdly in the background. Quite sad really.
Take the minor road east out of Shap which takes you past the cemetery and over the M6.
The stone is pretty much unmisable on the right hand side of the road - it's a huge lump of rock.
I dread to think how much it must weigh?
On a recent visit to the Castlehowe Scar Stone Circle, I looked in the next field and was astonished to see what appears to be a stone row! I presume that if this is `really` a stone alignment then we would have known about it by now. If anyone has any thoughts or information about this then please share it with us.
One of the many stones in the area with the title Thunder Stone.
This fella is a great big Shap granite boulder perched on the edge of a small quarry just beside the Shap to Crosby Rasvensworth road.
Shap Granite is a beautiful stone either polished or raw. Its pink colour comes from the feldspar within it's matrix and the large feldspar crystals, plagioclase feldspar I think.