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The stone circle at Castlerigg is situated near Keswick in Cumbria, North West England. One of around 1,300 stone circles in the British Isles and Brittany, it was constructed as a part of a megalithic tradition that lasted from 3,300 to 900 BC, during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages.

The stones are glacial erratic boulders composed of volcanic rock from the Borrowdale Volcanic Group. Both andesitic lavas and tuffs (volcanic ashes) are represented. Castle Rigg sits on a deposit of glacial till, and it is likely that the boulders were originally part of this deposit. The stones are set in a flattened circle, measuring 32.6 m at its widest and 29.5 m at its narrowest. The heaviest stone has been estimated to weigh around 16 tons and the tallest stone measures approximately 2.3m high. There is a 3.3m wide gap in its northern edge, which may have been an entrance. Within the circle, abutting its eastern quadrant is a roughly rectangular setting of a further 10 stones. The circle was probably constructed around 3200 BC (Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age), making it one of the earliest stone circles in Britain and possibly in Europe. It is important to archaeoastronomers who have noted that the sunrise during the Autumn equinox appears over the top of Threlkeld Knott, a hill 3.5 km to the east. Some stones in the circle have been aligned with the midwinter sunrise and various lunar positions.

 

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