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Viewing website implies consent to set cookies on your computer. Full details Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number 1155775
SWAAG Honorary President:
Tim Laurie FSA

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 *****SWAAG_ID***** 762
 Date Entered 13/10/2013
 Updated on 13/10/2013
 Recorded by Tim Laurie
 Category Standing Stones / Circles
 Record Type Archaeology
 SWAAG Site Name 
 Site Type 
 Site Name 
 Site Description 
 Site Access Public Access Land
 Record Date 29/04/2012
 Location Cumbria. Penrith. 2 1/4 miles N of Langwathby. NY571373
 Civil Parish Not known
 Brit. National Grid 
 Geology Glacial Drift over New Red Sandstone. The 70 large stones of the circle are mostly Shap Granite and Lake District Volcanic erratic boulders. Long Meg herself is an outlier standing stone of red Triassic Sandstone.
 Record Name Cumbria. Penrith. Long Meg and her Daughters- one of the largest stone circles of the British Isles.
 Record Description This stone circle was visited by SWAAG Members during a three day archaeological visit to the eastern lake district in April 2012. The photographs were taken during this visit. Long Meg (the outlying standing stone) and her Daughters (the boulders of the stone circle) has been surveyed and interpreted as a flattened edge ring which measures 109m*93m overall.John Aubrey reported the existence of two stone cairns within the stone circle, but no trace of these survive today. Reference: Thom A. and Thom A.A.1980. 'Megalithic Rings'. British Archaeological Reports 81. pp42,43. It is not generally realised that this great stone circle was constructed on the edge of a very large circular ditched (?causewayed) enclosure, only recently identified by aerial photography) which is likely to predate the stone ring and characteristic of enclosures of Earlier Neolithic date. The fallen stones on the western perimeter of the ring may have subsided into the ditch of this enclosure. The setting of this readily accessible (in State Guardianship) stone circle, with its backdrop of the Pennine escarpment, is magnificent and those not familiar with this monument are recommended to make a visit as soon as they are able. The south face of the red sandstone Long Meg Standing Stone is decorated with cup and ring marks and with spiral figures together with complicated grooving. See Stan Beckensall 1992. This standing stone may have been quarried from a previously decorated sandstone outcrop.
 Dimensions 109m*93m overall.
 Geographical area 
 Scientific Name 
 Common / Notable Species 
 Tree and / or Stem Girth 
 Tree: Position / Form / Status 
 Tree Site ID 0
 Associated Site SWAAG ID 0
 Additional Notes For a description of the Long Meg monument itself and of the monument complex associated with this stone circle and for good detailed drawings of the cup and ring and spiral carvings on the face of the Long Meg standing stone, see Beckensall S.1992. Cumbrian Prehistoric Rock Art. Abbey Press, Hexham ISBN 0 9517590 3 5
 Image 1 ID 4776         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description The first view of Long Meg and her Daughters from the access road with ash trees.
 Image 2 ID 4768         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description Blencathra on the western horizon seen from Long Meg Stone circle
 Image 3 ID 4770         Click image to enlarge
 Image 3 Description Detail of the stones.
 Image 4 ID 4772         Click image to enlarge
 Image 4 Description Detail of the stones at the entrance feature with Long Meg herself.
 Image 5 ID 4773         Click image to enlarge
 Image 5 Description Detail of the stones at the entrance feature with Long Meg herself.
 Image 6 ID 4774         Click image to enlarge
 Image 6 Description The NW perimeter with fallen stones at the edge of the earlier ditched enclosure.
 Image 7 ID 4775         Click image to enlarge
 Image 7 Description One of the largest stones, estimated to be in the region of thirty tons in weight.
 Image 8 ID 4769         Click image to enlarge
 Image 8 Description The stones near the entrance feature with Long Meg.
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