Broomrigg B1: small stone circle in Broomrigg Plantation, 920m south east of Street House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015272

Date first listed: 26-May-1960

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Mar-1997


Ordnance survey map of Broomrigg B1: small stone circle in Broomrigg Plantation, 920m south east of Street House
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1015272 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 24-Jan-2019 at 04:20:47.


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

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Ainstable

National Grid Reference: NY 54846 46607


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of upright or recumbent stones. The circle of stones may be surrounded by earthwork features such as enclosing banks and ditches. Single upright stones may be found within the circle or outside it and avenues of stones radiating out from the circle occur at some sites. Burial cairns may also be found close to and on occasion within the circle. 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. A small stone circle comprises a regular or irregular ring of between 7 and 16 stones with a diameter of between 4 and 20 metres. They are widespread throughout England although clusters are found on Dartmoor, the North Yorkshire Moors, in the Peak District and in the uplands of Cumbria and Northumberland. Of the 250 or so stone circles identified in England, over 100 are examples of small stone circles. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are worthy of preservation.

Despite a combination of excavation and the loss of some of the circle's stones, Broomrigg B1 small stone circle survives reasonably well. It is one of a number of prehistoric monuments within Broomrigg Plantation including small and large stone circles, burial cairns, hut circles and standing stones, and thus indicates the importance of this area in prehistoric times and the diversity of monument types to be found here. It will contribute to any further study of the ceremonial function of stone circles and other spatially associated monuments in the area.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a small stone circle known as Broomrigg B1 It is located in Broomrigg Plantation and includes a circle originally of seven stones, of which only four now remain, enclosing an area approximately 3.4m in diameter. Of the surviving stones three remain upstanding and are of red sandstone, the fourth is of a light-coloured sandstone and has fallen outwards. A slight turf-covered mound within the circle indicates that the stones originally encircled a burial cairn. Excavation by Hodgson in 1950 found a large stone-lined central burial pit measuring 1.6m in diameter by 0.53m deep. This pit would have held the primary burial but it had been robbed in antiquity and all that remained was a small flint flake. The socket holes for the three missing stones were also located and behind one of these was a small shallow pit c.0.3m in diameter containing charcoal and bones of a secondary burial. The excavation also found a block of rounded sandstone with a design of crossed lines incised into its face.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 27733

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Waterhouse, J, The Stones Circles of Cumbria, (1986), 107-111
Hodgson, K, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Further Excavations at Broomrigg, Ainstable, , Vol. LII, (1952), 3-5
Bowman,A., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Small Stone Circles, (1990)

End of official listing