Ring of Stone Circles: Exploring Neolithic Cumbria



To paraphrase L.P. Hartley, “The past is a different country.” Stan L Abbott sets out to explore the visible clues to our mysterious past from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages: stone circles. Cumbria boasts more of these monuments than any other English county. Here, our tallest mountains are ringed by almost fifty circles and henges, most of them sited in the foothills or on outlying plateaux.

Were these the earliest such monuments in Britain, placing Cumbria at the heart of Neolithic society? And what traces of that society remain today in the roads we travel, the food we eat, the words we speak, our work and play? By observing and comparing many sites in Cumbria and beyond, and researching many sources, a greater understanding emerges.

Were some circles built for ritualistic purposes, or perhaps astronomical? Were they burial sites? Or were they just places for people to meet?

Illustrated with linocut illustrations by artist Denise Burden, Ring of Stone Circles follows the search for the hidden stories these monuments guard – and might reveal if we get to know them.

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