Castlerigg Stone Circle – Mysterious Beauty

Mysterious, intriguing and quite frankly surrounded by beauty. Around 3000 years ago, in the late Neolithic Age, what is now known as Castlerigg Stone Circle was built. To this day nobody has worked out exactly why it was built. Ancient slate stones standing on the level top of a small hill with majestic mountain neighbours in the backdrop. Skiddaw, Blencathra and Helvellyn to name just a few. This quiet spot a couple of miles outside Keswick, Cumbria has attracted thousands upon thousands of visitors whom have come for the sights, to explore ancient mystery, to draw/paint or to experience a beautiful sunset amongst other things.

DSC_01632 Castlerigg Stone Circle – Mysterious Beauty

DSC_02081 Castlerigg Stone Circle – Mysterious Beauty

People have tried in the past to uncover the purpose of the circle, one of the oldest in Britain. 40 stones officially make its form. If you count more then apparently this is due to the vast amount of visitors year after year and with erosion pushing the soil down and revealing the supporting stones. It is widely believed to have a great astronomical significance with equinoxes appearing to be in line with larger stones or mountains/hills on the horizon. Probably used for ceremonies. It was archeologically excavated only way back in 1882 with  only findings of charcoal and different soil. The samples have since probably been lost for modern analysis. The mystery remains.

DSC_02131 Castlerigg Stone Circle – Mysterious Beauty

DSC_02213 Castlerigg Stone Circle – Mysterious Beauty

DSC_02381 Castlerigg Stone Circle – Mysterious Beauty

One thing that can’t be denied here though is the sheer beauty of the surrounds. I have touched on some of the mountains nearby and they are those I have loved to climb. This day at Castlerigg I found peace, beauty and tranquility in a whole different way. A calm late winter, as the sun was setting, marveling at mile after gorgeous mile around me. Imagining what may have happened here millennia ago in this very spot.

IMG_3473B1 Castlerigg Stone Circle – Mysterious Beauty

IMG_3502B1 Castlerigg Stone Circle – Mysterious Beauty

Written by Paul Steele

Founder of and avid hiker, climber and trekker. Never liking to sit still and always seeking new adventures around the world. Sharing personal views here and tweeting live via @paul_steele


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  1. WOW, what a stunning collection of photographs. I love this stone circle, and I think it is one of the most magical and atmospheric archaeological sites in the UK. You really have done the circle and its setting proud!

  2. I loved visiting this place when I was growing up; and there are a few similar circles throughout Cumbria. Is it just a coincidence the Castlerigg stones are placed on a site where the UK’s most prolific patch of magic mushrooms also grows?

  3. What a beautiful and mysterious place! I’m always enchanted by abandoned places dating back centuries or even millennia. It’s interesting to imagine how ancient people lived and did their rituals, or supposedly so, around such ancient places.

  4. G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S.

    The pics are so peaceful. I think I can actually hear the silence while looking at them. Of course, the last one with a pink sky behind a snowy mountain…ahhh…does it get any better?

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