Ancient Monuments

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Stone circle 800m east of Wetheriggs Pottery

A Scheduled Monument in Brougham, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.6299 / 54°37'47"N

Longitude: -2.6783 / 2°40'42"W

OS Eastings: 356304.777518

OS Northings: 526290.690695

OS Grid: NY563262

Mapcode National: GBR 9GQX.Y3

Mapcode Global: WH81C.TWSK

Entry Name: Stone circle 800m east of Wetheriggs Pottery

Scheduled Date: 14 July 1966

Last Amended: 8 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007628

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23660

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Brougham

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Clifton St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument is a partly mutilated small stone circle located at the foot of
Leacet Hill 800m east of Wetheriggs Pottery. It includes a semi-circle of five
irregularly spaced granite boulders having a diameter of 13.5m. The stone
circle encloses an earth and stone cairn up to 0.5m high. Limited antiquarian
investigation revealed a full circle of ten boulders. Adjacent to the inside
of four of these boulders was a total of ten urns, many containing cremated
bone. At the centre of the cairn were remains of the funeral pyre consisting
of a layer of charcoal and calcined bones.
A drystone wall and a post and wire fence crossing the monument are excluded
from the scheduling but the ground beneath 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

Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of
upright or recumbent stones. The circle of stones may be surrounded by
earthwork features such as enclosing banks and ditches. Single upright stones
may be found within the circle or outside it and avenues of stones radiating
out from the circle occur at some sites. Burial cairns may also be found close
to and on occasion within the circle. 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. A small stone
circle comprises a regular or irregular ring of between 7 and 16 stones with a
diameter of between 4 and 20 metres. They are widespread throughout England
although clusters are found on Dartmoor, the North Yorkshire Moors, in the
Peak District and in the uplands of Cumbria and Northumberland. Of the 250 or
so stone circles identified in England, over 100 are examples of small stone
circles. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into
prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are worthy of

Despite a combination of forestry planting on the northern part of the circle
and limited antiquarian investigation, the stone circle 800m east of
Wetheriggs Pottery survives reasonably well. The investigation located human
remains and pottery, and further evidence of interments and grave goods will
exist within the cairn encircled by the stone circle.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Robinson, J, Ferguson, R S, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. Old Ser.' in Notes on Excavation at Leacet Hill Stone Circle, Westmorland., , Vol. V, (1881), 76-8
Bowman, A., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Small Stone Circles, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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