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

Backstone Circle

Stone Circle


Having read Paul Bennett's book, I made a trip up there last April.

This charming, tumbledown, overgrown circle, camaflouged by newer dry-stone walls takes some finding, but it's certainly worth the effort!
It's perched on the flanks of the Backstone Beck valley. I must've walked near it dozens of times over the years and never noticed it. Maybe it's because it's hidden amongst more recent constructions, or maybe it's only noticed if you're actually intent on finding it! The stones nestle into the moorland vegetation, partially obscured by great tussocks of sedge. To me, the attendant man-made remains don't seem to detract from the peaceful sanctity of the place.

As can be seen from the lush vegetation in the pictures, parts of this site are very damp. This is due to an underground stream running close under the earth.
Geological fault lines surround the circle on three sides. Compass and temperature readings can exhibit wild fluctuations! Apparently, tests in the late eighties recorded a difference in temperature between stones inside and outside the circle at certain times of ten degrees Fahrenheit!

I visited again in late June and noticed a 6-foot long stone, laid on it's side in the bottom of the quarry behind the circle. Probabley nothing, though a flight of fancy had me thinking of 'recumbent menhirs'!
Traces of green candle-wax graced the stone, indicating pretty recent activity!
We also thought we could hear water and have since found that a well lies there, only usually apparent after heavy rains.
David Raven Posted by David Raven
3rd September 2003ce

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