Looking southwest across Kemp Howe
towards the hills of the Shap Fells.
There are (or were)
circles in this area, Shap North (Wilson Scar), Shap Centre (Gunnerkeld),
and Shap South (Kemp Howe).
Wilson Scar consisted of 32 small stones that stood in a 15 metre circle west
of the A6 and northwest of Shap itself. The land that it stood on is part of a
large quarry and is inaccessible, however there is a record of a circle being
excavated here in 1943 prior to quarrying - leading to the conclusion that Wilson
Scar has now been destroyed.
Gunnerkeld consists of two ovals, the outer has 3 stones remaining from an original
18 that would have measured some 28 metre across. The inner oval is much better
preserved, and is 18 metres wide containing a burial mound. It stands on private
land and permission must be sought before visiting it (unfortunately there was
nobody home when I visited so I have yet to see the circle at first hand although
it can be seen from the southbound carriage of the nearby M6 motorway)
Kemp Howe meanwhile is curiously bisected by the Preston-Carlisle mainline railway
with only 6 large stones still in situ. It would originally have been over 24
metres wide had not 19th century railway technology so rudely disturbed it.
The circles form part of a much lager complex of monuments that form a roughly
southeast-northwest alignment that is now shadowed by the routes of the M6, the
A6 and the West Coast Mainline. See also Shap Stone