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

White Moss

Stone Circle


Set a little to the north-west of the wonderful Brat's Hill stone circle enclosing its myriad cairns, the paired stone circles upon White Moss would need to be very special indeed to sustain the drama - I think that's the correct word - and maintain the feeling of evocative abandon experienced by this wide-eyed traveller up here upon this wild moor. Fortunately, they are.... Oh yes! With bells on. In fact I have to admit these two are arguably my finest monuments in Lakeland for sheer atmospheric vibe, affecting me no end. In fact you could say to the nth degree. No, really. Although I was never any good at algebra or trigonometry at school, Thom might well have approved of the analogy. Perhaps, perhaps not.

That other great stone circle luminary, Aubrey Burl, cites the circles as being 'ruinous'. Maybe, but when you're used to tiny Welsh upland 'circles as I am, these are nothing less than 'substantial' in comparison. Mist swirls evocatively - evocatively as long as it doesn't head this way, that is - across and around the long summit crest of Illgill Head to the north, the far flank of which plunges precipitously, albeit unseen, to the depths of Wast Water. To the north-east Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain, is itself cloaked in a mantle of grey vapour. So what's new? Well, viewing it from inside an enigmatic stone circle, for starters. I swear if you was to look up 'evocative', or, say, 'ethereal' in the Oxford English Dictionary there would be an image of White Moss. Ok, ok, there isn't. But there bloody well should be.

Both circles have 'just' the single cairn, placed centrally. It is more than enough, but Burnmoor doesn't let the visitor off the emotional hook that easily. No, look further to the north-east and two more stone circles are visible upon Low Longrigg. Go on. You know you must. You have no choice in the matter.
10th January 2011ce
Edited 11th January 2011ce

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