Gamelands Circle
Neolithic Stone Circle
East of Orton, Cumbria  OS Map Ref NY640082
OS Maps - Landranger 91 (Appleby-in-Westmorland), Explorer OL19 (Howgill Fells & Upper Eden Valley)


Gamelands stone circle - looking south
Next to a trackway about halfway between Orton and Raisbeck, Gamelands circle stands on a plateau of land in the looming shadow of Knott Hill and Great Asby Scar to the northeast with fines views to the south and southwest over the valley of the River Lune and to the Howgill Fells beyond (photograph above). Although it is somewhat damaged it is still one of the largest circles in Cumbria and like several other circles in the region is though to be a fairly early example, dating from the middle to late Neolithic.

What remains are around forty-three squat boulders of a local pink granite with the exception of a single block of limestone which is located towards the south. They form a flattened oval which measures about 42 metres east to west by 35 metres north to south and was possibly contained within an earthen bank while a gap between two of the stones to the south may have formed an entrance. A limestone slap discovered within the circle is suggested to possibly have come from a central burial cist.

The stones of the circle are said to have been pulled to the ground during the 1860's, some being buried, others blasted with gunpowder when the whole site was ploughed, today many of the stones towards the southeast and southwest are now missing creating distinct north and south arcs of stones. The southern arc also seems somewhat unnaturally flattened and it could be that some of the stones were rolled out of the way to accommodate the course of the fieldwall that now lay alongside, indeed some of the missing stones could have gone into its construction. Despite the damage to the site, Gamelands is still a beautiful circle in a dramatic setting.
Gamelands stone circle - looking northeastLooking northeast over the northern arc of stones towards Knott Hill and Asby Scar.
Satellite image of Gamelands Stone CircleThis satellite image of Gamelands shows the two distinct remaining arcs of the circle.

Site Visits / Photographs:

May 2002, September 2006.

References:

Burl, A. 1976. The Stone Circles of the British Isles. London: Yale University Press.
Burl, A. 1995. A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany. London: Yale University Press.
Clare, T. 2007. Prehistoric Monuments of the Lake District. Stroud: Tempus Publishing Ltd.
Cope, J. 1998. The Modern Antiquarian. A Pre-Millennial Odyssey through Megalithic Britain. London: Thorsons.
English Heritage. Extract from English Heritage's record of scheduled monuments. NMR: 23631.
Farrah, R.W.E. 2008. A guide to the Stone Circles of Cumbria. Kirkby Stephen: Hayloft Publishing Ltd.


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