Castlerigg Stone Circle


Today, a good friend of mine has allowed me to use the above stunning image of Castlerigg Stone Circle which was taken in the early morning a few days ago.

Location is near Keswick in the Lake District which in turn is a spectacular scenic region of N.W. England.

This circle dates to around 3200 BC and as such ranks as one of the earliest in Europe.There are 38 surviving stones out of an original 42 

It seems likely that the circle was created by local peoples engaged in a stone axe industry in nearby Langdales. As explained in this post the peoples of this period are not the ancestors of indigenous British people of today.

The rationale behind the construction of stone circles is not fully understood although one line of thought points to the stones representing a physical manifestation of ancestors. For a people without the wheel, roads and restricted to primitive stone tools the erection of such circles represents a herculean effort requiring a social structure allied with project management skills.

Many stone circles are believed to have various astronomical alignments. In this case there is a tall radial pillar 8ft 3ins (2.5m) high which is positioned to the S.E.which stands in line with the November or Samain sunrise. Although taken a short while after sunrise and a few days into December this feature is well illustrated in the image which was taken from a north viewpoint. The 'entrance' to the circle is shown by the two widely separated stones in the foreground. The 'Samain' stone stands prominently, third from the left entrance stone.The stone can also be seen in the video clip below (about one quarter way through) and identified by a man standing adjacent wearing a dark blue jacket and jeans.

Video clip

Acknowledgement: Some of the information above was sourced from 'A Guide to Stone Circles' by Aubrey Burl. ISBN 0-300-06331-8.


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