Happy Midsummer!

Castlerigg stone circle

Castlerigg stone circle

Okay, I know it looks like I’m a day early, but the midsummer solstice takes place in the UK at 05.04am tomorrow (21st). Castlerigg is, of course, the most famous of Cumbria’s stone circles and sometimes – often – it’s obvious why. Continue reading

Long Meg & her daughters

I confess to a great liking for Long Meg. For one, I live very near to it and being handy for one of this land’s ancient monuments really tickles my historian’s cockles. It’s enormous – some say the third biggest in the country, but frankly, I’ve also heard second, fourth, fifth and sixth – so let’s just agree that, at a diameter of 109m, it is really big.

Long Meg June 2013

Long Meg June 2013

The largest of the stones in the circle is 3.3m high and estimated to weigh 28 tons. There are 27 stones still standing in the circle, with a whole load of others reclining. ‘Long Meg’ herself is an outlyer, made from local sandstone, and is 3.7m high. The pink stone has a strange quality in certain lights – it ‘glitters’ – and it’s then that you catch sight of the faint, eerily ancient, spiral carvings. Continue reading