Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Small Stone Circles

Off the beaten track lies this stone circle in the Duddon Valley.  I think this one is technically, or should I say archaeologically,  a ring cairn which also serve a ceremonial purpose and  were constructed in the Bronze Age between about 2000 and 1000BC. This is its most simple form.  Their location in the landscape is important and I would think the its position in relation to the hill is significant.  There are records of about 118 sites within the Lake District National Park which fall into two groups those on the lower fells and ones like this one much higher up and more isolated. What they all have in common is that they are positioned so there are spectacular landscape views from the site but the circles themselves are not easy to see from a distance.
especially when the bracken is all around.
or when you are sitting in the sun and try to record some skylarks only they stop singing
 Walking on this path with views over the estuary one would never guess there was a small but perfectly formed stone circle nearby.  Put on that Superman uniform fly over the estuary into the distance and land on

a larger stone circle made of limestone and known locally the Druid's Circle. Unusual because it is concentric and consists of this  inner circle of 12 stones and a wider outer circle of 20 which are hidden in the bracken  (one or two barley visible in this photo).   There are only 30 concentric stone circles in the whole of Britain, the most famous of which is Stonehenge. The 'Druid's Circle' was excavated in 1911 and 1921 and proved that the circles enclosed a paved area covering burials dated by the type of urn found as the late Bronze Age.  Generally archaeologists suggest that burial is not the primary function and when it does take place it was after the stone circle had been in use for some time.
Water is often associated with stone circles, it is known to have strong ritual or ceremonial significance and here on Birkrigg Common the stones are set overlooking Morecambe Bay. Ideal for looking at spectacular sunsets.  Just below is the village of Bardsea and the church steeple.

An entry to ABC Wednesday. A journey through the alphabet which has reached the letter S.


12 comments:

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

What a most intriquing post and wonderful photography ~ (A Creative Harbor)

Leslie: said...

These are fascinating and must be in many areas in Britain. I know there's one at least up on the downs at Rhossili, Wales, too. I'd love to go on a walking tour around the Lake District and see some!

Leslie
abcw team

Roger Owen Green said...

something mysteriously powerful about those STONES

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots of historical landscape.

capturedalive said...

I like this post indeed

PhenoMenon, ABCW Team

Linda Metcalf said...

Thanks for the tour! The Lake District is so beautiful and I did not know before that there were any stone circles...

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

I didn't know the circles were also burial places but it doesn't surprise me.

uberrhund said...

Beautiful and evocative. These circles are fascinating in a way that draws me toward them even in photos. I have visited a few in the Northern part of the UK and found them to be full of energy (which may have been my own excitement at being there!).

magiceye said...

Fascinating post. Thanks for sharing.

Mama Pajama said...

very cool - I studied the ritual use of labyrinths in college, and so stone circles hold much delight for me - thanks for sharing, loved this post!

lorik said...

Great photos! You are so lucky to have these monuments near you and be able to visit them often. We explored some when we were in the UK years ago... and found a barrow with our name!

Dave said...

To one from far away (me) these things seem very strange Joy. Do you feel anything religious or emotional about these stones? - Dave