Castlerigg Stone Circle is one of the earliest stone circle sites in Europe, having been built sometime around 3000BC, making in some 500 years old that the Great Pyramid of Giza. And while the actual structure may be less impressive than that Egyptian monument, the location of Castlerigg is more so.
Nestled comfortably in the heart of the Lake District, Castlerigg is surrounded by mountains and lush fields. From the centre of the stone circle you can see some of the highest peaks in England, including Skiddaw, Helvellyn and Blencathra.
Like every stone circle, the thousands of years of unrecorded history has erased our knowledge of why Castlerigg was built. Like most stone circles its has a solar alignment but stone axes have also been discovered within the circle, leading to theories that the circle was a meeting place for tribes of Neolithic people from which they traded and preformed religious ceremonies. The site is probably linked to the Langdale axe industry which dominated this part of England during the Bronze Age and the unusual shape of the circle suggests that additional stones were added over time meaning the site likely played a role in the lives of countless generations.
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