Castlerigg Stone Circle by John Davis

Castlerigg Stone Circle

The circle was probably constructed around 3000 BC, making it one of the earliest stone circles in Britain and possibly in Europe. It was constructed as a part of a megalithic tradition that lasted from 3,300 to 900 BC. Castle Rigg sits on deposits left behind after the glaciers from the Ice Age melted and it is likely that the boulders used in its construction were originally part of this deposit.

The original purpose of the site is unknown. It could have been used as a trading post. Three stone axes have been discovered inside the circle. In the Neolithic period axes were made from volcanic stone quarried in the fells. Other possible uses include a meeting place for social gatherings, a site for religious ceremonies and rituals or even an astronomical observatory with the stones being aligned to the sun, moon and stars. Some stones in the circle have been aligned with the midwinter sunrise.