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Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick

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Ruin
The stone circle at Castlerigg (alt. Keswick Carles, Carles, Carsles or Castle-rig) is situated near Keswick in Cumbria, North West England. One of around 1,300 stone circles in the British Isles and Brittany, it was constructed as a part of a megalithic tradition that lasted from 3,300 to 900 BC, during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages.Various archaeologists have commented positively on the beauty and romance of the Castlerigg ring and its natural environment. In his study of the stone circles of Cumbria, archaeologist John Waterhouse commented that the site was "one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain."Every year, thousands of tourists travel to the site, making it the most visited stone circle in Cumbria. This plateau forms the raised centre of a natural amphitheatre created by the surrounding fells and from within the circle it is possible to see some of the highest peaks in Cumbria: Helvellyn, Skiddaw, Grasmoor and Blencathra.DescriptionThe stones are of a local metamorphic slate, set in a flattened circle, measuring 32.6 m (107 ft) at its widest and 29.5 m (97 ft) at its narrowest. The heaviest stone has been estimated to weigh around 16 tons and the tallest stone measures approximately 2.3m high. There is a 3.3m wide gap in its northern edge, which may have been an entrance. Within the circle, abutting its eastern quadrant, is a roughly rectangular setting of a further 10 stones. The circle was probably constructed around 3200 BC (Late Neolithic/Early Bronze-Age), making it one of the earliest stone circles in Britain and possibly in Europe. It is important to archaeoastronomers who have noted that the sunrise during the Autumn equinox appears over the top of Threlkeld Knott, a hill 3.5 km to the east. Some stones in the circle have been aligned with the midwinter sunrise and various lunar positions.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Not on the same scale as Stonehenge, but interesting nevertheless. Visit on a clear day to see the impressive Lake District Mountains all around.  more »
  • Castlerigg Stone Circle is the most atmospheric and dramatically sited of all British stone circles, with great views and the mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat. Constructed in about 3,000 B.C. Reas...  more »
  • Visited this last year and took a remarkable photo and had it made into a canvas. Surrounded by delightful fells it is a truly tranquil place to visit.  more »
Google
  • Interesting small stone circle to the east of Keswick. Well signposted from the main road and easy to find but no facilities and limited parking when you get there. Stunning setting with hills all around. There is limited information about the circle so I suggest doing your research before you go. Interesting though.
  • It is just a stone circle so as long as you don't expect more then you'll be fine. It has wonderful views all around, a little information board (which I couldn't read because I went there at sunset - for which you need torches) and a lot of stones in a circle. If you're passing, do go and spend 10 minutes for a quick look or a little longer just to soak up the atmosphere.
  • Fantastic place to come to! So peaceful and set in a wonderful landscape. Good for parking or a 45 minute walk from Keswick town centre.
  • Peaceful. Because it's away from the beaten track, can be peaceful, but don't expect to be alone. Take time to wonder why so many stone circles were built.
  • Absolutely beautiful. I could never imagine myself standing in the middle of such a peaceful, calm, wonderful stone circle. I went there with my family on holiday, and we spent hours sitting down near the huge stones and looking at sheep walking around. That was exactly what we needed – having the most relaxing time with my family and awesome view of 360° nature up on the hill.