Mare and Foal stone circle, 400m north east of Milestone House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017728

Date first listed: 02-May-1997

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Feb-1998


Ordnance survey map of Mare and Foal stone circle, 400m north east of Milestone House
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. 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 - 1017728 .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 17-Dec-2018 at 10:23:10.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Haltwhistle


National Grid Reference: NY 72536 66333


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.

The Mare and Foal stone circle is reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is a rare monument type and its location immediately south of Hadrian's Wall will add to our understanding of the prehistoric landscape in which the Wall was later constructed.


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


The monument includes the remains of a stone circle of Bronze Age date, situated on a low rise with a southerly aspect. Two of the original stones remain standing at the monument and the socket holes of the other stones survive below ground as buried features. The stone circle had a diameter of 6m. The largest and most northerly of the two stones, which is oriented east to west, stands to a maximum height of 1.5m; it is rectangular in plan and at the base it measures 0.85m by 0.4m. The second stone, some 4.5m south of first, is also oriented east to west. This stone is a squat six sided boulder which stands to a maximum height of 1.05m. At the base it measures 1.05m by 0.60m. In 1770 there were still three stones standing at the monument and they are shown on a map of the same date. Some 6m west of the first stone there is a recumbent boulder, thought to be the third stone which is no longer in situ.

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: 28566

Legacy System: RSM


Frodsham, Paul , (1997)
NY76NW 36,

End of official listing