Ancient Monuments

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Duddo stone circle, 800m north east of Grindonrigg

A Scheduled Monument in Duddo, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6868 / 55°41'12"N

Longitude: -2.112 / 2°6'43"W

OS Eastings: 393057.521079

OS Northings: 643705.287895

OS Grid: NT930437

Mapcode National: GBR F2PP.K8

Mapcode Global: WH9YW.JBJ9

Entry Name: Duddo stone circle, 800m north east of Grindonrigg

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1925

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006622

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 13

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Duddo

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Norham St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument, also known as Duddo Five Stones, includes a stone circle of Neolithic/Bronze Age date, situated on top of a large knoll overlooking the River Tweed to the west. The monument includes five standing stones forming a rough circle approximately 10.5m in diameter. The stones are weathered sandstone and vary in height from 1.5m to 2.3m with the largest stone being 1.8 wide and 0.5m in depth. The circle is open to the west where one stone is considered to be missing.
Parts of the site were excavated in the 19th century, and this work indicated that there were originally six stones. The ENE stone was re-erected after 1903, prior to this the site was known as Duddo Four Stones. Partial excavation in 1890 located a central pit containing 'much charcoal and bone.'

SOURCES
NMR:- NT94SW8
PastScape Monument No:- 4119
Northumberland HER:- 2344
Thom, A, Thom, A S and Burl, A, Megalithic Rings. British Archaeological Report No. 81 (1980)

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of upright or recumbent stones. Stone circles are found throughout England although they are concentrated in western areas, with particular clusters in upland areas such as Bodmin and Dartmoor in the south-west and the Lake District and the rest of Cumbria in the north-west. This distribution may be more a reflection of present survival rather than an original pattern. Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age (c.2400-1000 BC). It is clear that they were carefully designed and laid out, frequently exhibiting very regularly spaced stones, the heights of which also appear to have been of some importance. We do not fully understand the uses for which these monuments were originally constructed but it is clear that they had considerable ritual importance for the societies that used them. In many instances excavation has indicated that they provided a focus for burials and the rituals that accompanied interment of the dead. Some circles appear to have had a calendrical function, helping mark the passage of time and seasons, this being indicated by the careful alignment of stones to mark important solar or lunar events such as sunrise or sunset at midsummer or midwinter. At other sites the spacing of individual circles throughout the landscape has led to a suggestion that each one provided some form of tribal gathering point for a specific social group. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are worthy of preservation.
Despite the re-erection of one of the stones, Duddo Stone Circle survives well and is a good example of its type. Excavation has indicated that below ground archaeological deposits will survive relating to the construction, use and abandonment of the monument. Such deposits will also contain environmental information on the surrounding landscape.

Source: Historic England

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