castlerigg stone circle


situated on chestnut hill it is supremely sited amonst the surrounding mountains and is probably one of the earliest neolithic stone circles constructed in britain around 3200BC. it corresponds to the most active period in cumbria for the production of stone axes in the langdale mountain a few miles to its south. it most likely functions as an emporium for the distribution of these highly prized axes to both scotland to the north and to wessex in southern england.


the flattened circle probably had 42 slate stones the made up its circumference, the heaviest of which on its south eastern arc weighs in at 16 tons. burl has calculated that it would have taken a team of a least 70 workers to to raise it upright . there is an entrance at its exact north and is mark by two large stones. there are faint traces of an outer bank and of later bronze age carns within. the presence of a unique rectilinear enclosure of smaller stones about 3.35×6.7m (in the ratio 1:2) and inside the ring on the south east. it use is not clear.


alignments. there were probably at least two outliers, one of which has been removed to a hedge during ploughing, the other forms an astronomical alignment for the sun at the prehistoric festival of imbolc during february. thom has made a case for further solar alignments as well as important lunar ones drawn in line with its central foci.