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


Stone Circle


Castlerigg visit #3 (21.10.2011)

The final day of our week is a grey, drizzly thing. We head to Maryport aquarium rather than into the hills. But I can't leave Keswick without a final trip to Castlerigg, seeing as it's so close. Waterproofs donned, I head out into blustery, wet gloom as the light starts to fail.

Once again, there's a car parked when I arrive, but its occupant is leaving as I cross the field. A stark contrast to the sunkissed dusk and dawn visits earlier in the week, but there's much to be enjoyed about Castlerigg in an autumn downpour. Firstly, there's no-one else here. Secondly, attempts at photography are greatly hampered by splodges and an instantly wet lens each time I point it anywhere above the ground. So I concentrate on squelching around and enjoying the stones and their setting.

Much of the glorious backdrop is hidden today, a few grey shapes visible but not much else. Blencathra hides its unmistakable profile away in cloud. I'm pleased to be down here, rather than up there (for once).

Three visits and I'm still no nearer to understanding this place - three hundred visits might not help. The enigma of the square internal setting will continue to elude. But the visits, coupled with aerial viewings from Blencathra and from Lonscale Fell, have highlighted how cleverly placed the circle is. The setting is not on a high elevation, in the context of the mountain backdrop. But it has elevation over the immediate surroundings, being placed on the top of a small hill that ensures the views all around are unrestricted to the mountains.

After about 20 minutes, another car pulls up and a solitary occupant emerges. I take this as my cue to leave, to let them have the circle to themselves as I have.

A last viewing across the field and I'm off, happy and sad, wet but warmed inside.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
4th November 2011ce
Edited 5th November 2011ce

Comments (2)

I really enjoyed reading the account of your visits to Castlerigg Alken; the photographs were stunning too. You've managed to capture in words how I felt about the place ... and its hard to put in words. My holiday, planned well in advance, took place just after my mother's funeral (another experience hard to articulate) so perhaps everything seemed more intense. The sheer drama of the Borrowdale Valley, the rain, the water spilling down the fells and ancient Castlerigg surrounded by sky and fells. It was a long journey both geographically and metaphorically but one that will always stay with me.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to mentally re-visit.
tjj Posted by tjj
5th November 2011ce
Thanks very much June. Hopefully your next visit up there will be in less difficult times. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
6th November 2011ce
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