Duddo stone circle, 800m north east of Grindonrigg


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NT 93057 43705

Reasons for Designation

Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of upright or recumbent stones. Stone circles are found throughout England although they are concentrated in western areas, with particular clusters in upland areas such as Bodmin and Dartmoor in the south-west and the Lake District and the rest of Cumbria in the north-west. This distribution may be more a reflection of present survival rather than an original pattern. Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age (c.2400-1000 BC). It is clear that they were carefully designed and laid out, frequently exhibiting very regularly spaced stones, the heights of which also appear to have been of some importance. We do not fully understand the uses for which these monuments were originally constructed but it is clear that they had considerable ritual importance for the societies that used them. In many instances excavation has indicated that they provided a focus for burials and the rituals that accompanied interment of the dead. Some circles appear to have had a calendrical function, helping mark the passage of time and seasons, this being indicated by the careful alignment of stones to mark important solar or lunar events such as sunrise or sunset at midsummer or midwinter. At other sites the spacing of individual circles throughout the landscape has led to a suggestion that each one provided some form of tribal gathering point for a specific social group. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are worthy of preservation. Despite the re-erection of one of the stones, Duddo Stone Circle survives well and is a good example of its type. Excavation has indicated that below ground archaeological deposits will survive relating to the construction, use and abandonment of the monument. Such deposits will also contain environmental information on the surrounding landscape.


The monument, also known as Duddo Five Stones, includes a stone circle of Neolithic/Bronze Age date, situated on top of a large knoll overlooking the River Tweed to the west. The monument includes five standing stones forming a rough circle approximately 10.5m in diameter. The stones are weathered sandstone and vary in height from 1.5m to 2.3m with the largest stone being 1.8 wide and 0.5m in depth. The circle is open to the west where one stone is considered to be missing. Parts of the site were excavated in the 19th century, and this work indicated that there were originally six stones. The ENE stone was re-erected after 1903, prior to this the site was known as Duddo Four Stones. Partial excavation in 1890 located a central pit containing 'much charcoal and bone.'

SOURCES NMR:- NT94SW8 PastScape Monument No:- 4119 Northumberland HER:- 2344 Thom, A, Thom, A S and Burl, A, Megalithic Rings. British Archaeological Report No. 81 (1980)


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
ND 13
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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