Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Standing stone 180m NNE of Skirsgill

A Scheduled Monument in Penrith, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.6515 / 54°39'5"N

Longitude: -2.7612 / 2°45'40"W

OS Eastings: 350983.094598

OS Northings: 528750.5243

OS Grid: NY509287

Mapcode National: GBR 9G5N.0C

Mapcode Global: WH81B.KBCY

Entry Name: Standing stone 180m NNE of Skirsgill

Scheduled Date: 15 December 1977

Last Amended: 20 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007626

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23658

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Penrith

Built-Up Area: Penrith

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Penrith St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument is a standing stone located 180m NNE of Skirsgill. It includes a
roughly rectangular granite stone measuring c.1.8m high by 1.3m wide.
A building immediately to the north of the stone, a wall immediately to the
west of the stone, and an area of concrete hardstanding immediately to the
south of the stone are all excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath all these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates
ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few
excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs,
ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often
conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can
be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round
barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included
stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth
containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds.
Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones,
which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and
ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways,
territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show
they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual
monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and
domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing
stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant
examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in
Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds.
Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high
longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late
Neolithic and Bronze Age. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and
those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be
considered to be of national importance.

The standing stone 180m NNE of Skirsgill is a good example of this class of
monument. It lies in an area south of Penrith that is rich in prehistoric
monuments and thus indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times.
It will contribute to any study of the function of standing stones and other
spatially associated monuments in the area.

Source: Historic England


Bowman, A., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Standing Stones, (1990)
SMR No. 1166, Cumbria SMR, Standing Stone N of Skirsgill, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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