You can stay here for as long as you like, in theory, but the 'liftings of the husbandmen' (great name) is in such a sad state you probably wont need more than fifteen minutes before the draw of oh so many intact sites pull you away, so why not park on the pavement right in front of the field gate, you could nip across the field in your slippers, or maybe even lug an armchair with you, then you can sit in comfort as you give unsuspecting rail travellers the V's.
(Not that road builders get away with anything)
When a stone circle gets destroyed it's a bit like the death of a star (twinkle twinkle) they depart in so many ways, the whole thing could just be gone, only a single stone might be left, all the stone could be used for something useful but less so than it's former self, this stone circle is of the Neutron star variety, much much smaller than it was, but with strangely high gravity, to stone heads at least, less than a quarter of it is left, but it's well visited.
Nonsense aside, these six pink shap granite stones are still very big, easily visited, and forming a kind of arc, I hope The Eternal is right when he says the other stones are under the railway, as totally missing is worse than covered, even by a railroad, sort of. The circles still there, we just cant see most of it any more. Even in it's destruction, it's still part of a larger wider community of sites stretching for miles up along the M6.
I parked at Fell Garage (left hand side when approaching Shap from the south) and the first thing I noticed was that a car had been turned into a rockery!! I walked back down the road for 5 minutes and came to the field in which the stones lay. It was then a quick 'over the gate' and up to the stones. I counted 6 large boulders and numerous smaller stones nearby. It was a strange experience - on the one side you have a modern electric railway and on the other, in the distance, ancient moorland. The stones are clearly visible from the busy A6 when driving past.
Kemp Howe stone circle would have been a beautiful monument today, but some prat built a railway over the top of the eastern half of it. The other stones are supposed to be still in-situ under the railway banks.
When approaching Shap from the south on the A6, the circle is situated in a narrow field between the railway and the road, just short of the first buildings of Shap, on the right hand side. A gate gives access, but please close it after you to keep in the farmer's good books. It is easily seen on the approach, and at first appears to be a stone avenue.
Six large stones remain, along with a number of smaller ones. In the middle, at the western edge, a number of small stones form what appears to be a small cove.
The rough, pink Shap granite, used to construct the circle, has to be seen, as no pictures do justice to the striking quality and appearance of this rock, especially after rain.
Shap scared me today! A beautiful spring day, sun shining and just a little mist on the hills, should have made for perfect trip but the downright weirdy nature of this place had me slightly disturbed....
It's easy to find, on the A6 from Kendal into Shap, the stones are on the right hand side of the road, lying alongside the railway line. There is a parking place just as you enter the village and then it's a 10 minute walk back to the site, lovely if the road isn't too busy. On the way, you pass a lovely stream with an odd little woodland....as I was marvelling at the beauty of it all, I noticed a tree with dead animals hanging from it - told you this place was weird. I counted 2 rats and a rabbit before I was too freaked out and walked on by. I saw a number of stones along this stretch which must've made up the avenue, 2 which seem to have been made into a gate at some point....it was all very strange - the place seemed to be desolate and abandoned.
The Kemp Howe stones themselves are beauties and as I sat on one of the centre ones, with my back to the rumbling quarry, looking out towards Wet Sleddle and the South Cumbrian hills I could almost forget the horrors of what had befallen this site. Cars whizzed by, a few people looking over and obviously wondering what the woman in the pink top was doing sitting on a stone next to the railway line.......
Lovely big pink stones, just like those at Gamelands have here, been cruelly bisected by the railway line. It's quite shocking.
And you could see this place as megalithic roadkill, but I prefer to see it in a different way. As one of the those people who has a secret love of waving at trains (preferably from a beautiful trackside location, which this isn't) Kemp Howe gets its own back on the railway line builders and waves at trains everyday. It may have been built over, but it certainly ain't out.
Kemp Howe is a travesty. These stones lie dejected by the side of a railway track, overlooking an industrial site. The stones are themselves beautiful, and despite the circles destruction, should be visited.