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


Stone Circle


Staying for week at the small village of Grange in the Borrowdale valley near Keswick. When a friend asked me several months ago to share a walking holiday in Lake District I jumped at the chance - unbelieveably I had not visited before. At last I would be able to visit Castlerigg, named by so many as their favourite stone circle.

As we approached Keswick on Saturday, the rain as forecast, had started - I spotted the sign for Castlerigg so we did a detour to make it the first the thing to be seen. I was childishly excited as I ran into the circle in the rain - with just sheep for company and surrounding hills shrouded in low cloud it, seemed a remote isolated place.

It rained all Saturday night and yesterday morning it eased a little so we walked to the top of Castle Crag, a nearby hill. By the afternoon the rain had stopped to be replaced with cloudy, sunny intervals ... so we headed back to Castlerigg to see it in different weather. Not wanting to do a long walk in case the weather changed again, my friend parked on the A591 (the road out of Keswick) and we walked from 'High Nest' through the meadows to Castlerigg. I became acutely aware of the surrounding fells as cloud shadows and sunlight played on their steep slopes. It was Sunday afternoon, the sun had come out after heavy rain so needless to say there were quite a few people wandering around the circle - which made no difference at all to the impact my second visit had on me. This beautiful stone circle with its small cove of inner stones - surrounding on all sides by the high Cumbrian hills blew me away. I live near Avebury, have been to Brodgar and Boscawen-un, both of which affected me deeply. Castlerigg is up there with them. It is set on a plateau above Keswick in an amphitheatre of hills including Skiddaw, Blencathra (Saddleback) and Lonsdale Fell; in some ways seems to mirror them. I stood for a long while at the far side of the field watching the shadows race across the fells all around the stone circle.

Right now, I'm typing this in the attic room which is also my bedroom in the riverside cottage where we are staying (curses, there is a computer and wifi link there too). The rain is falling in white sheets and the River Derwent has swollen to scarey proportions. The drama is spectacular ... no doubt we will venture out soon - perhaps go down to Grasmere as walking is out of the question until the rain subsides. Up here in the Lakes - almost unspeakably beautiful to this particular southerner - once again Nature rules and puts everything in perspective.

Over and out ... photos to follow when I return home.
tjj Posted by tjj
23rd May 2011ce
Edited 24th May 2011ce

Comments (1)

Brilliant June. Really glad you've made this trip, sounds like it's living up to expectations and hopefully giving you some much-needed space (and what space it is!).

Enjoy the rest of it, I'll look forward to the pics...
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
23rd May 2011ce
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