Shap Stone Row
Bronze Age Stone Alignment

Shap, Cumbria  OS Map Ref NY561149
OS Maps - Landranger 90 (Penrith & Keswick), Explorer OL5 (The English Lakes: NE Area)

The Goggleby Stone
The Goggleby Stone - looking north.
Aspers Field Stone
Aspers Field Stone - seen from the Goggleby Stone

This collection of rocks forms a rough southeast to northwest alignment that runs for about a mile and a half from the south of the village of Shap, passing through the village itself embedded in walls and standing in gardens, and ends in a field less than half a mile from the River Lowther. English Heritage record 14 stones in the group, some are free standing, others fallen or leaning, while the largest (The Thunder Stone) is a glacial erratic but others have proposed several more - most of these hidden among the buildings of the village. The locations of the stones given by English Heritage are as follows: NY55171592 (Small Thunder Stone), NY55151574 (Thunder Stone), NY55551528, NY55551526, NY55841520 (Aspers Field), NY55921509 (Goggleby Stone), NY56051496, NY56301477, NY56611436, NY56591425, NY56741411, NY56751410, NY56761409, NY56741409. All the stones are formed of a local granite and several are marked - The Small Thunder Stone has a cup and ring, Aspers Field has 2 cups one with a ring and the Goggleby Stone has a single cup.
That this alignment formed an important part of a ritual landscape cannot be doubted although as always it is difficult to figure out what was going on here and how (or if) other lost or remaining monuments (or the River Lowther) were involved. Stone rows are often thought to have been used as processional routes either for people or spirits of the dead so we could speculate that the Shap alignment formed some kind of link from Kemp Howe stone circle in the southeast past the Hill of Skulls round barrow to the northwest and on to some point that has either been lost or remains yet to be recognised.
Glossary Item: Bronze Age

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