Ancient Monuments

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Stone circle, 380m east of King's Crags

A Scheduled Monument in Simonburn, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.0349 / 55°2'5"N

Longitude: -2.3111 / 2°18'39"W

OS Eastings: 380214.848261

OS Northings: 571197.868603

OS Grid: NY802711

Mapcode National: GBR DB96.GX

Mapcode Global: WH90R.GQQ1

Entry Name: Stone circle, 380m east of King's Crags

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1965

Last Amended: 16 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011076

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20976

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Simonburn

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Simonburn

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes a small stone circle of Bronze Age date situated
immediately below the top of a south-facing slope. The circle measures 9m in
diameter and is composed of 11 stones protruding above ground level to varying
heights. Eight of the stones stand to a height of 0.1m, one in the eastern arc
is 0.6m high, and two in the southern arc stand to 0.6m and 1m respectively.

MAP EXTRACT
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
preservation.

The stone circle east of King's Crags is one of a small number of surviving
stone circles in Northumberland. It is well preserved and remains undisturbed
and will add to our understanding of Neolithic/Early Bronze Age settlement and
activity in the area.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
5401,

Source: Historic England

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