Ancient Monuments

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Shap Stone Alignment

A Scheduled Monument in Shap, Eden

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Latitude: 54.5309 / 54°31'51"N

Longitude: -2.6884 / 2°41'18"W

OS Eastings: 355547.4113

OS Northings: 515281.822

OS Grid: NY555152

Mapcode National: GBR 9JN1.RL

Mapcode Global: WH81Y.PC0X

Entry Name: Shap Stone Alignment

Scheduled Date: 29 September 1949

Last Amended: 7 February 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011637

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22496

County: Eden

Civil Parish: Shap

Built-Up Area: Shap

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Shap with Swindale St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument is Shap stone alignment. It includes 14 unevenly spaced stones of
varying height aligned approximately north-west/south-east over a distance
of 2.4 kilometres lying west and north-west of Shap village. All the stones
are local porphyritic granite. The monument is divided into 14 separate areas.
The northerly stone - the Small Thunder Stone - has fallen and now lies flat.
It measures c.2.5m by 2m and bears a cup and ring mark decoration. 190m to the
south is the largest stone in the alignment - the Thunder Stone. This is a
glacial erratic measuring c.10m in girth and up to 3m high. 610m south-east of
the Thunder Stone is a roughly triangular stone 1m-1.5m high and c.3m in
circumference now embedded in a drystone wall. 13m to the south-south-east is
a fallen smaller rounded stone c.1.4m long by 1m broad. 290m to the
east-south-east, and lying on its side, is a stone 3m long and 5.5m in girth.
On this stone's wider end there is a cup and ring mark carving with a second
cup mark close by. 140m to the south-east is the Goggleby Stone which stands
2m high, broad end uppermost, and has a circumference of 6.5m. It has a cup
mark carving at its north-east angle. 170m to the south-east is a broken stone
measuring up to 1.5m high and 3m in circumference embedded in a drystone wall.
310m to the south-east is a fallen triangular stone almost 3m long and over 6m
in circumference. 520m to the south-east, in the garden of Aynfield, is a
fallen rounded stone 2.2m high and 5m in circumference. 100m south-south-west
is another fallen rounded stone measuring 2m long with a circumference of
about 2.5m. 220m to the south-east is the most northerly of a group of 4
closely spaced smaller rounded stones lying in the gardens of Carleton
Terrace. It lies in the garden of no.3. Another lies in the garden of no.5,
and two are in the garden of no.6.
The monument is thought to be of Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age date
(c.2500 - 1600 BC). The setting of the Goggleby Stone was excavated in 1975
prior to re-erection after it had fallen. A flint scraper, one piece of chert
and one chert flake were found amongst rubble used for packing around the
stone's base.
All drystone walls into which the stones have been incorporated are excluded
from the scheduling; also excluded are all fences, garden walls, paths, public
footpaths, a garage and a shed situated adjacent to the stones 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

Stone alignments consist of upright stones set in a single line, or in two or
more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They are often
sited close to prehistoric burial monuments, such as small cairns and cists,
and to ritual monuments, such as stone circles, and are therefore considered
to have had an important ceremonial function. Traditionally they are regarded
as being of Bronze Age date but lack of precise dating together with
circumstantial evidence - for example the fact that most appear on moorland
which shows little sign of widespread colonisation until the Late Neolithic
and the fact that some are slighted by Middle-Late Bronze Age structures -
suggests that all or most were constructed during the first half of the second
millenium BC. As such they provide rare evidence of ceremonial and ritual
practices during this period. Due to their rarity and longevity as a monument
type, all examples of stone alignments which are not extensively damaged will
be considered worthy of protection.
Shap stone alignment survives well and is a rare example of this class of
monument in Cumbria. It is exceptionally long and lies close to other
prehistoric monuments - notably Skellaw Hill bowl barrow and Shap stone
circle. It thus indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times and
the diversity of monument classes to be found here. The monument will
contribute to the study of the ceremonial function and date of stone
alignments and other spatially associated monuments.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Burn, , History of Westmorland, (1777)
Camden, W, Britannia, (1586)
Clare, T, 'Trand Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Recent Work On The Shap Avenue, , Vol. LXXVIII, (1978), 5-16
FMW Report, Crow, J, Shap Standing Stone and Stone Circle, (1985)
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)
SMR No 3001, Cumbria SMR, Shap Standing Stone and Stone Circle, (1985)
SMR No. 3001, Cumbria SMR, Shap Standing Stone and Stone Circle, (1985)
To Robinson,K.D. MPPFW, Mr Bindloss (site tenent), (1992)

Source: Historic England

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