Ancient Monuments

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Low Kingate concentric stone circle

A Scheduled Monument in Lakes, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.445 / 54°26'42"N

Longitude: -2.9014 / 2°54'5"W

OS Eastings: 341639.785175

OS Northings: 505888.335258

OS Grid: NY416058

Mapcode National: GBR 8K51.NB

Mapcode Global: WH827.DJLQ

Entry Name: Low Kingate concentric stone circle

Scheduled Date: 18 March 1965

Last Amended: 13 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011350

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22553

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Lakes

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Troutbeck Jesus Church

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument is a concentric stone circle located on a natural terrace on a
hillside, along which runs a public bridleway known as Low Kingate,
immediately to the west of Hird Wood. Six stones remain in the outer circle,
which has a diameter of 20m. Three stones on the western side are incorporated
in the base of a drystone wall. Within the outer circle is an inner circle
11.5m in diameter; 4 stones remain in this circle, the largest standing 1.3m
high, set upon the top edge of an earth and stone cairn measuring up to 0.8m
high and 16.7m in diameter at the base.
Drystone walls on the monument's east and west sides are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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.2000-1240 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. Concentric stone
circles comprise an arrangement of two or more stone rings set within one
another. The diameter of the outer ring may vary between 20 and 330 metres,
this ring comprising between 20 and 97 stones. They occur in clusters in
Wiltshire, Derbyshire and Cumbria with outliers in North Yorkshire and
Dartmoor. The best and most complex examples of this type are Stonehenge and
Avebury. Of the 250 or so stone circles identified in England only 15 are of
this type. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into
prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are worthy of

Despite the removal of some of the stones from both the inner and outer
circles, Low Kingate concentric stone circle survives reasonably well.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Waterhouse, J, The Stones Circles of Cumbria, (1986), 143
Cowper, H S, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Unrecorded and Unusual Types of Stone Implements, , Vol. XXXIV, (1934), 91-2
Bowman, A., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Concentric Stone Circles, (1990)
SMR No. 1933, Cumbria SMR, Stone Circle 1/4 mile NW of Troutbeck Park, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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