Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

I walked 3 miles from the centre of Keswick to this most mystical and magical Neolithic stone circle of Castlerigg. It is around 5200 years old, built before the Pyramids. I fell in love with it and its magnificent setting some 18 years ago when I first visited here. It is located on a low plateau above Keswick, and is surrounded as in an amphitheatre by mountains and fells which are simply stunning to behold. One could not fail but to be moved when capturing and taking in the whole vision on first sighting.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

I found it stirred and pulled at something deep within me. I couldn’t help but marvel at how people of such an ancient past age had conceived of such an idea, placing such time, effort and energy in such a large project. They were so attuned to nature and the landscape around them, and their view of the world and life was a lot different from ours is today. However they built a beautiful and enigmatic monument which has certainly stood the test of time.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Viewed from within the circle and looking northwards there are two large stones with a wide opening between them which may have been an entrance way. There are 38 stones varying in size and shape forming the circle, and there is a legend that the stones are uncountable. The original circle may have had up to 42 stones as there are some apparent gaps. The tallest stone is 2.3m (7.5 feet) high, and the heaviest is 16 tons, and all are made from local rock which formed an ancient seabed over 400 million years ago.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Inside the eastern end of the circle is a rectangle of 10 stones which has been called the ‘sanctuary’, although nobody know what it actually was or used for.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

It is hard to imagine that this ancient monument had already been standing for 3000 years when the Romans first arrived in Britain, and for 4000 years when the Vikings landed their longships on these shores.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

As well as being one of the most beautiful and beautifully set stone circles in Britain, it is also probably one of the most important. It is one of the oldest in Britain, and Europe for that matter, and it does not contain any formal burials like the later Bronze Age circles do. Therefore it’s true purpose remains unclear, but at the time it was erected it was certainly at the forefront of the minds of its builders.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

One could almost imagine being back there in ancient times when amongst this ring of standing stones within its natural surroundings. Just imagine the day after the last stones had been erected, how these people must have felt after such an achievement, how their plan and design had finally come into being through sheer will and hard work. And just imagine, even for just one single moment, what it would be like to step inside the mind of one of these ancient peoples to know what they knew, and to feel what they felt within their close connections to the earth and the heavens which helped sustained them, knowing what inspired them so to move earth and stone for future generations to ponder over and to marvel at.


Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


July 2018, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

Views From Friar’s Crag

Derwentwater

Friar’s Crag is a viewing promontory jutting out over the lake of Derwentwater which offers wonderful views of the surrounding fells towards Borrowdale. The top image is of Walla Crag, and will feature in a future post.

Derwentwater

There are four islands scattered about the lake, and of these two the one on the right is called St Herbert’s Island. It is believed the name of the promontory came about by monks who embarked from the point on pilgrimage to the island.

Derwentwater

A few yards from Friar’s Crag is a monument to John Ruskin, the artist and painter, who had very fond memories of the area which made a big impression on him. He described the view from here as one of the three most beautiful scenes in Europe. Castle Crag can be seen centre of the image below.

Derwentwater

The images were taken on an evening as the sun was gradually lowering, and the views and atmosphere of the place certainly made a lasting impression on me. I hope you get at least some sense of what I witnessed and experienced.


July 2018, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

View From The Shore

Derwentwater

This is one of the views from across Derwentwater, a large body of water in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria. The last time I visited here was 18 years ago. I wonder why I left it so long when there is so much beauty here amidst nature.

July 2018, © Pete Hillman.