One of Britain’s most impressive prehistoric monuments sits on a low hill to the east of Keswick with a ring of mountains surrounding it. Castlerigg Stone Circle is one of the earliest stone circles to be found in Britain and is important in terms of megalithic astronomy and geometry. Castlerigg Stone Circle stands on a superb natural plateau commanding a superb 360 degree view over the surrounding fells. It is composed of 38 free standing stones, some up to 3 metres (10 feet) high. It is one of Britain’s earliest stone circles dating back to the Neolithic period 4000 to 5000 years ago. Try counting the number of standing stones, can you come up with the same number twice…?
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.