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The afternoon was still so fine after our trip round Derwentwater that we thought we wouldn’t waste it but would go to see Castlerigg Stone Circle on our way back to our holiday cottage.

IMG_5117Castlerigg Stone Circle (640x480)

Castlerigg Stone Circle

The stone circle is on the flat top of a hill about 700m above sea level and is encircled by a ring of higher fells.

IMG_5116Castlerigg Stone Circle (640x480)

It is thought the circle is about 4500 years old and was constructed at the beginning of the later Neolithic Period.

The circle was probably constructed by early farming communities who practised transhumance farming i.e. they spent the winter on low fertile land near the coast or in the Eden valley and then moved to upland grazing in the central fells in the summer. ย It is thought the circle was a meeting place for the communities arriving from the coast to the East and those from the Eden valley in the West before they then travelled on to the summer pastures and also to the axe-making area in the Langdales.

IMG_5123Castlerigg Stone Circle (640x491)

The circle consists of 38 stones in the outer circle and ten more that make up a rectangular enclosure inside the circle

Castlerigg is an early example of a stone circle and isn’t perfectly round – it is ovoid, one side somewhat flattened.

IMG_5114Model of Castlerigg Stone Circle (640x490)

A relief model of the circle

The tallest stone is 2.3m high and the circle is approximately 38m in diameter. ย The circle is important in terms of megalithic astronomy and geometry and the construction contains astronomical alignments.

IMG_5126Castlerigg Stone Circle (480x640)

The rectangular enclosure or ‘sanctuary’

We thought the whole place quite special and the setting, breath-taking.

IMG_5133View from Castlerigg (640x480)

View over the wall into the surrounding valley

IMG_5122Castlerigg Stone Circle (640x480)

Sheep are used to graze the grass


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