Glassonby
Bronze Age Round Cairn and Carved Rock
Northwest of Glassonby, Cumbria   OS Map Ref NY573393
OS Maps - Landranger 86 (Haltwhistle & Brampton), Explorer OL5 (The English Lakes: NE Area)


Southern and eastern arc of stones
To the northwest of the village of Glassonby and just north of Little Meg and Long Meg are the remains of a round cairn close to the edge of a field and small wood.

The covering mound of cobbles has almost completely vanished having been removed when the site was excavated in 1900, a few are left scattered around and the mound would probably have had a diameter of about 30 metres. Inside this there is a rough oval of twenty-nine stones measuring about 16 metres by 14 metres across (the image above shows the southern and eastern arc of stones), some of the stones stand nearly a metre high although many disappear under vegetation at certain times of the year. A small cist containing charcoal was found within this oval to the southeast as well as a blue and white faience bead to the north. Outside the circle to the southeast an inverted collared urn was found that contained the burned bones of an adult male and further cremated bones were found to the north of the circle.

On the eastern side of the ring of stones there is a carved rock that faces inwards to the cairn (image below alongside plan adapted from one by Stan Beckensall). Its main design is a central set of four concentric rings with two sets of four concentric ring emerging from the top of the central carving. There is another set of eroded rings between these last two features. Underneath these motifs are four upwards pointing chevrons and to the left are a set of grooves, many of which could be natural. None of the designs on this rock are easy to see and in some light conditions they are almost invisible - spot the carvings in the photograph? No, me neither. There was once another carved stone on the southern edge of the cairn but I'm not sure of its whereabouts now.

Date: Bronze Age
The carved rock with inset plan
The carved rock with inset plan.

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