Ancient Monuments

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Broomrigg D: small stone circle in Broomrigg Plantation, 760m north west of Far Shields

A Scheduled Monument in Ainstable, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.812 / 54°48'43"N

Longitude: -2.7022 / 2°42'7"W

OS Eastings: 354966.388313

OS Northings: 546578.359764

OS Grid: NY549465

Mapcode National: GBR 9DKS.ST

Mapcode Global: WH80L.G9GV

Entry Name: Broomrigg D: small stone circle in Broomrigg Plantation, 760m north west of Far Shields

Scheduled Date: 26 May 1960

Last Amended: 20 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015891

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27734

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Ainstable

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Cumwhitton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a small stone circle known as Broomrigg D. It is located
in Broomrigg Plantation and includes a circle of six stones enclosing an oval
area measuring approximately 5.2m north east-south west by 3.8m north west-
south east. The largest stone lies prostrate on the western side of the
circle; it measures 1.6m long but may never have been erect as no socket hole
has been found for it. A plan of the circle drawn in 1934 shows eight stones
forming the circle at that time. By the time the circle was excavated by
Hodgson in 1960 the stones had been reduced to six in number. This excavation
found a socket hole for a missing stone on the circle's northern side, three
small sherds of undecorated hand-made pottery, and a number of worked flints,
one of which was a blade 6cm long.

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 D 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 monuments 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), 113
Hodgson, K S, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Notes on Stone Circles at Broomrigg, Grey Yauds etc, , Vol. XXXIV, (1934), 77
Bowman,A., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Small Stone Circles, (1990)
Richardson,G.G.S. & Fell,C.I., Unpublished excavations by the late Miss K.S.Hodgson, 1975,

Source: Historic England

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