Goatstones
Bronze Age Four-Poster Stone Circle & Cup Marks
Broadpool Common, Northumberland  OS Map Ref NY82937471
OS Maps - Landranger 87 (Hexham & Haltwhistle), Explorer OL43 (Hadrian’s Wall)


Goatstones - Looking East
Looking roughly east over the Goatstones four-poster circle.
The Goatstones are a simple but intriguing monument just 4 kilometres or 2.5 miles north of Hadrian's Wall but while the Roman wall may be popular with visitors at any time of the year this little monument stands in quiet solitude even on the brightest of summers days. It consists of four squat blocks of stone, the shortest being 0.4 metres high, the tallest being 0.8 metres which form a square of about 4 metres or if an imaginary circle is drawn around the perimeter of the stones would give a diameter of roughly 5.5 metres. It seems that there were only ever four stones here making the Goatstones an unusual form of stone circle known as a 'four-poster' of which according to English Heritage there are only about twenty examples in England. The stones may have been arranged around a low cairn in the centre of the monument although very little trace of this remains to be seen today. An interesting inclusion at the site is a set of cup marks on one of the stones. These occur on the shortest stone located towards the east of the circle where between 10-12 mad-made depressions can be seen on its flattened top surface, possible grooves can also be seen on a couple of other stones.
As can be seen from the photograph below the Goatstones stand in the shadow of a rock outcrop, this distinctive east-west ridge known as Ravensheugh Crags is very prominent in the landscape especially when seen from the north and could be the reason why the site was chosen for the building of the four-poster. However, the stones are located on the slopes of a slight rise to the southwest of the Crag and their small size means they would be hidden from view from most angles and even though there are fine views towards the south and west they may have only been visible from a short distance when approached from these directions.

Date: Bronze Age
Goatstones - Looking  Northeast
The view northeast towards the outcrop of Ravensheugh Crags.
Goatstones - Looking West
Looking west over Haughton Common
Goatstones - Looking Southwest
View looking southwest. The stone on the left hand side has several cup marks on its top surface.

360 Degree Panorama


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