stones are arranged in this beautiful but little-visited 28.6m circle
This beautiful, compact circle of 55 stones is considered by
Aubrey Burl one of the finest stone circles of Western Europe. Dating from the Bronze Age, it lies about 23 miles SSW
Swinside is 28.6m (93ft 8ins) in diameter and the stones are porphyritic
slate from the adjacent fells. There is a well-defined entrance at the south-east, where there are two portal stones
outside the circumference, such as at Long Meg and Her Daughters. Apparently there is midwinter sunrise marker looking from
the centre of the circle at the two southernmost portal stones. The tallest stone of the circle is 2.3m (7ft 6ins) high; it
weighs about 5 tons and it stands almost exactly at the north.
Excavations at the beginning of the century showed that
the stones are bedded in a layer of packed pebbles. The site is also known as Sunkenkirk because the Devil is said to have
pulled down at night the stones of a church that was being built during the day.