One of the most visited stone circles in the Lake District is Castlerigg (also known as the Keswick Carles or simply The Carles). It has been dated to about 3000BC and is one of the earliest stone circles in Britain. At the entrance to its location the raised map (above) is placed for visitors to see the positioning of the 38 stones and around the edge the names of the near mountains.
The circle measures about 100 ft (30 metres) and sits in a natural amphitheater formed by the surrounding hills with sight of the valley below
The ever-changing clouds and weather
form a backdrop changing the light and the atmosphere of this magical place. I arrived under gloom but gradually the sun started to break through and the low clouds started to break up and dissipate off the tops.
One of the unusual formations of the circle is this rectangular grouping of ten stones in the south east quadrant sometimes called the sanctuary or cove, although its purpose is unknown. Some have suggested it might have been a meeting place for trades of stone axes.
By the time we left the sun was starting to break up the clouds. Nothing much is known about the site but the astronomical alignments have provoked a lot of interest and also the observation that at the north east it flattens out for reasons unknown. Some have imagined that the stones reflect the the shape of the mountains surrounding them. If only there was time machine to whisk us back to meet our ancient ancestors for them to explain. Until then The Megalithic Portal has a beautiful photograph of the circle taken by firelight which may be the nearest we'll get to seeing it how it might have been.
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at S here