Castlerigg Stone Circle, also known as Keswick  Carsles, near Keswick in the Lake District, is built on a visually impressive site. This prehistoric monument is the most popular stone circle in Cumbria.


Built on the plateau of Castlerigg Fell, high level ground within a circle of some of the highest mountains in Cumbria, it provides a natural amphitheatre for the monument.


The circle was probably constructed during the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age about 3200 BCE, which makes it possibly one of the earliest stone circles in Britain and Europe.


As at Long Meg Stone Circle it is considered impossible to count the stones, however this may be due to erosion of the soil around the stones, which continually exposes new stones. Although these stones may in fact be only packing stones from around the larger ones. Counts normally are between 38 and 42, but the official National Trust figure is 40.


An outlying stone, some 300 feet south west of the circle was erected by a farmer in the early 1900s, after he had repeatedly hit it with his plough. It is unsure whether this was originally part of the circle or a naturally deposited stone.


The stones are of a local metamorphic slate, set in a flattened circle, measuring approximately 100 foot. The heaviest stone has been estimated to weigh around 16 tons and the tallest stone measures approximately 8 foot high. There is a gap in its northern edge, which may have been an entrance. In the eastern corner of the circle, set in a square are a further 10 stones their purpose is unknown.


The original use of the site is once again a point for discussion, I myself, being interested in Enochian theories, side with the  archaeoastronomers who having noted that the sunrise during the Autumn equinox appears over the top of Threlkeld Knott, believe it to be an astronomical site.


On the other hand archaeologists believe the original use to be a trading station for the famous Greenstone Axes produced locally, but to me it doesn't seem to have any resemblance to Tesco's or a car boot sale!


However I am obliged to put their point. It being that the Neolithic Greenstone Axes were produced on an industrial scale nearby, in the Langdale Fells. These axes had some special value as they have been found all over Britain, but they are not the best stone to use for axes so presumably they were used for ritual or magical purposes, or as votive offerings. Therefore I could see the circle being used as a temple where these axes were ritually consecrated before being passed on to their new owners.


I would be interested to learn more about the properties of this stone, has anyone any details?



The Gateway




The Mysterious Square








Britain Tour