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


Stone Circle


Visited Monday 26th September 2011

I've been spotting this circle since the mid 1980's when I used to travel down to England on Citylink coaches. Later, when I got my car and was heading down the M6, I always saw it at the last minute as I hurtled towards some much needed comfort stop at Shap Services. Gunnerkeld - often seen and never visited. So it was again on Friday 23 September 2011 as we headed down to North Wales, battering over Shap with our first stop already decided as "the first Gwasanaethau on the A55" - so Gunnerkeld would still have to wait. I caught a fleeting glimpse of the site in the morning sunshine as we passed heading South for Pwllheli and I made a note to stop off on our leisurely return on Monday.

The leisurely return trip on Monday was thwarted by a bad crash on the M6 at Junction 31-32 near Preston during the afternoon. It took us five hours to move ten miles during which our missed lunch turned into tea-time. My OH and junior were both starving by the time we got through the carnage of the accident (it looked awful) and with the promise of some fast food and a wee scenic rest, they held their fast until we hit the burger joint at Tebay. We all rammed burgers and fries into our faces while I manouvered us off at Junction 39, rolled up the minor road and parked up. We'd been on the road for nine hours.

I was truly bowled over by this site. Maybe after the carnage of the journey North I needed to relax, maybe it was the hunger, maybe it was the Cumbrian evening sunshine, maybe it was actually stopping at this old friend whom I've looked at for more than half my lifetime (but never stopped and passed the time with). Who knows, but the place is a delight. Someone here has pointed out the similarity to Croft Mhoraig - it does have a similar feel. I loved the toothy, stumpiness of the place, the odd angles. It reminded me of a busted molar tooth with various bits split off and jutting up. Oddly perhaps, I loved the fact that the Southbound carraigeway of the M6 was so close. It made the stones feel alive and at the heart of things, even though they all do look a bit worse for wear. I could have sat all evening, sipping my regular drink and picking at juniors left over fries, watching the traffic and the sun sinking to the West over the peaks. The field was empty of livestock but some sheep thoughtfully baa'd in the next field over, completing the whole Cumbrian Gunnerkeld experience thing.
However, the car wasn't gonna drive itself to South Lanarkshire and there was still around 150 miles till home. The clock was ticking with school and work to get up for on Tuesday. We headed back to the car, back to the M6 and headed North for home. A great site. Roof of Cumbria. Shap. Great. I'll be stopping here again.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
28th September 2011ce
Edited 28th September 2011ce

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