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Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick

Categories: Ruins, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 650+ reviews on the web
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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  • Never ceases to amaze me the reasoning for stone circles be they small or large. In addition, there are some wonderful views to be had just a few miles outside Keswick. 
  • After reading reviews and information on TA we headed out to find Castleriigg stone circle as we were leaving Keswick. It was just a 5 minute drive out of the town and quite easy to follow the road si...  read more »
  • Well worth a visit and free. Easy walk from the car park. No toilet facilities. There was a school party there when we arrived so the photo opportunities were a bit limited. Will try again next year, ...  read more »
  • Inspiring stone circle with truly magnificent views. An ethereal experience in a serene setting. Accessible with even ground to walk on. The roaming sheep are an added bonus.
  • Going there on every visit of the Lake District. Great site. Visitors could show more respect forcthis undoubtedly holy place by not climbing the stones. Best visited in drewly weather, less visitors, great shine on stones, great pictures.
  • What a lovely place - outstanding views all around and you can easily get a feel for the history of the place. A few noticeboards give some interesting info about the history. When it's not too busy it's a place you can relax and just enjoy being there; sometimes it's packed, but always breathtaking.
  • Really interesting set of stones, and an amazing view of the surrounding hills and landscape. You really can see why this location was chosen by the creators when you look around. Ice cream van that stops on the road next to the ruins sells really exquisite home made ice cream.
  • Absolutely stunning, we was here for Summer Solstice 2016. Couldnt of asked for a better Weather either perfect.
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