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

The Druid's Circle of Ulverston

Stone Circle


Visited 30th April 2016

The Druids circle always strikes me as a bit of a Cinderella site, always overlooked for the more glamourous sites of Castlerigg, Long Meg and Sunkenkirk that lie further within the heart of the Lake District. It’s always been the case previously for me too, with never time to detour off as there always seemed bigger sites to see. Now it’s time to put this right and the circle is first on our itinerary for our weekend in the Lakes.

Engaging in the traditional British bank holiday pursuit of dodging both the showers and the traffic it’s not long before we turn off at Ulverston and are on the A5087 hugging the coast. I’d previously Google Street Viewed the hell out of this road, to make sure I’d recognise the sharp turning onto Birkrigg common, and so had no trouble in finding the un-signposted lane we needed. Pulling in on the grass next to a couple of other cars I was amazed to find I could just about make out the low shapes of the stones. I’d worried it might be harder to find, having read some of the previous fieldnotes, and the ominous pronouncement ‘needs an O.S. map’ from the papery TMA, but it seems the previously obscuring ferns have been quite brutally hacked back.

It’s a lovely setting for a site, and the circle’s not bad either. Blue skies stretch over the expansive stretch of Morecambe bay, and the tower of Bardsea church in line with the circle draws the eye, a fine juxtaposition of the old gods and the new.

The circle itself is intriguing, the small pristine ring of pockmarked stones initially looking like they tell the whole story, and only at a closer glance do you make out the outer circle of recumbent stones around the perimeter. It may be natural, but it almost looks like the circle sites on a henge, vague traces of a raised platform and embanked ditch catch my eye, but it’s probably wishful thinking on my part. As a site it makes a complex picture, and I sit amongst the stones and ponder.

The breeze is mild and the warmth of the sun is pleasant when it makes an appearance between the scudding clouds, and I’m struck by how nice it is here. Sadly there is still some traces of red paint on the stones, but it’s barely visible, and the circle will persist unbowed long after the existence of the idiotic vandal responsible is forgotten. A small piece of amethyst has been left in the centre of the circle as an offering, but it’s nice to see everything else is clean and tidy with no signs of litter about.

I walk to the nearby limestone pavement to get a slightly elevated view, serenaded on my way by a skylark, and have to concur with Mr Cope, that this truly is a ‘righteous hangout’, even in this region of spectacular circles the Druid’s Circle holds its own. It retains a certain charm of the plucky underdog, and is surely worth the visit in its own right. I like it here!
Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
14th May 2016ce

Comments (4)

You certainly make it sound worth the effort and your photos confirm, great stuff. Really must get back to the Lakes. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
14th May 2016ce
Thanks Sweetcheat, I was amazed how little effort it took to find, it's definitely worth the visit! Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
14th May 2016ce
Glad you liked it up there. Once I had decided to turn the van of the main road I knew there was no going back, although I was glad nothing was coming towards me, soon opened up though and easy parking as you note. Maybe the views, maybe the feeling of remoteness (so close to the sea and main road), I found it a place to linger and took an early lunch there just to let it all sink in. Posted by costaexpress
16th May 2016ce
Called by the common today. A glorious day to visit. The place was blessed with large numbers of skylark pairs all enthusiastically in pursuit of nesting sites! The location issue may be caused by folks being impatient if coming up hill. Just be patient and you'll spot them on the left! I THINK I spotted another circle higher up too, but there's loads of interest right up on the crest of the common. You'll need at least an hour to do it justice. We stayed longer with only the occasional additional visitor. Posted by tomatoman
14th March 2017ce
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