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

The Shap Avenues

Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue


Numbers of Druidical stones (or, as some people say, in honour of Danish heroes) are scattered about Shap; they are different from the mother stone* (*Granite) of the neighbourhood, yet they seem too large to have been brought by art, and too careless on the surface to have formed there.

It is said that many of them were broken up to build Shap Abbey in 1158, which is, in its turn, dismantled to build paltry houses. Part of the steeple, with trees upon it that have withered with age, and cells under the once body of the abbey, are the only remains of this ruin: it has been shamefully dismantled. A fine stream runs near it, and the ground produces sweet grass, and hay that is all fragrance!


In our evening walk we passed a man who was driving his cart towards Bampton, and we asked him what names they called these stones* by, and how they came there? -- He stared, and asked "What dun yaw want t'kno for?" -- I dare say this answer was occasioned by evening fears, especially as he was to go by a barn that has always been the reputed haunt of ghosts, and which I believe is never passed in the day without a thought of them.

*"The Devil's Stepping Stones" by the country people.
In Joseph Palmer's "A fortnight's ramble to the lakes in Westmoreland, Lancashire, and Cumberland" of 1792.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
5th August 2008ce
Edited 7th August 2008ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment