Ancient Monuments

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Broomrigg B1: small stone circle in Broomrigg Plantation, 920m south east of Street House

A Scheduled Monument in Ainstable, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.8123 / 54°48'44"N

Longitude: -2.7041 / 2°42'14"W

OS Eastings: 354846.314838

OS Northings: 546606.948983

OS Grid: NY548466

Mapcode National: GBR 9DKS.CQ

Mapcode Global: WH80L.F9KP

Entry Name: Broomrigg B1: small stone circle in Broomrigg Plantation, 920m south east of Street House

Scheduled Date: 26 May 1960

Last Amended: 20 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015272

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27733

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Ainstable

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Ainstable St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a small stone circle known as Broomrigg B1 It is located
in Broomrigg Plantation and includes a circle originally of seven stones, of
which only four now remain, enclosing an area approximately 3.4m in diameter.
Of the surviving stones three remain upstanding and are of red sandstone, the
fourth is of a light-coloured sandstone and has fallen outwards. A slight
turf-covered mound within the circle indicates that the stones originally
encircled a burial cairn. Excavation by Hodgson in 1950 found a large
stone-lined central burial pit measuring 1.6m in diameter by 0.53m deep. This
pit would have held the primary burial but it had been robbed in antiquity and
all that remained was a small flint flake. The socket holes for the three
missing stones were also located and behind one of these was a small shallow
pit c.0.3m in diameter containing charcoal and bones of a secondary burial.
The excavation also found a block of rounded sandstone with a design of
crossed lines incised into its face.

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 excavation and the loss of some of the circle's
stones, Broomrigg B1 small stone circle survives reasonably well. It is one of
a number of prehistoric monuments within Broomrigg Plantation including small
and large stone circles, burial cairns, hut circles and standing stones, and
thus indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times and the
diversity of monument types to be found here. It will contribute to any
further study of the ceremonial function of stone circles and other spatially
associated monuments in the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Waterhouse, J, The Stones Circles of Cumbria, (1986), 107-111
Hodgson, K, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Further Excavations at Broomrigg, Ainstable, , Vol. LII, (1952), 3-5
Bowman,A., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Small Stone Circles, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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