Glassonby

Cairn Circle - Cumberland

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Rock Art


NY 57286 39360 (GPS 69min) Diameter 14m x 14.2m (Meas.)
Visited March 2000 No magnetic anomalies

As can be surmised from the low, contiguous nature of the stones at Glassonby, this is a cairn circle. The ring of stones remaining today are the kerbs that would have contained the huge mass of boulders, now vanished, that made up the cairn itself. The ring is said to have been an oval 15.5m.14.0m, this does not agree with the measurements we took at the site which suggested a circle, but the site has obviously suffered heavy disturbance over the years and its original form may not be readily apparent from what remains today.
In common with several other Cumbrian circles, Glassonby bears rock art. A stone at the ESE has a very faint but quite extensive cup, ring and arc motif on its inner surface . A second decorated stone at the SW has been lost, this was a red sandstone slab bearing a spiral carving.
An excavation of the site in 1900 yielded several finds, including a red sandstone cist discovered at the SE, a blue faience bead at the NW, and just outside the ring at the SW was a cremation under an Early Bronze Age collared urn. The bead and the urn are now in the Tullie House Museum at Carlisle.

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