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)


Glassonby Round Cairn
The southern and eastern arc of stones.
Glassonby Carved Rock Plan
The carved rock at Glassonby.
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 29 stones measuring about 16 metres by 14 metres across with some of the stones 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. Its main design is a central set of 4 concentric rings with 2 sets of 4 concentric ring emerging from the top of the central carving. There is another set of eroded rings between these last 2 features. Underneath these motifs are 4 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 - the illustration above is adapted from one by Stan Beckensall. There was once another carved stone on the southern edge of the cairn but this has since disappeared.
Glossary Item: Bronze Age

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