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Long Meg and her Daughters

Standing Stone and Stone Circle, Cumbria

lmdaughtersweir2.jpg (17828 bytes)A view of the daughters

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lmdaughtersweir1.jpg (25146 bytes) Long Meg longmegweir.jpg (12789 bytes)

This is an interesting Bronze Age site covering quite a large area. The stones are placed in a flattened oval 100 by 93 metres, and there were originally about seventy. Today there are fifty-nine, twenty-seven of them still standing. The stones of the circle are the daughters and Long Meg herself is a 3.6 metre standing stone just outside the circle. On the flat surface of Long Meg that faces the circle is a cup and ring mark, a spiral, and an incomplete concentric circle. Nearby is Little Meg

Aerial photography in 1988 has revealed a huge earthen enclosure to the north of the circle which meets and matches the flattened northerly segment of the ring.

Tradition states that Long Meg and Her Daughters were a coven of witches who were holding their sabbat, some time in the thirteenth century. Michael Scot, a wizard from Scotland, found them so engaged and cast a spell over the assembled company, turning them all into stones.

The spiral mark on Long Meg

The spiral mark
on Long Meg (right)

In common with other circles, these stones are said to be uncountable, and if anyone can count them twice and arrive at the same total, the spell will be broken. It is also said that when a local squire attempted to remove the stones, a tremendous and terrifying storm broke out overhead and so the project was immediately abandoned. Finally, a prophecy tells us that if Long Meg were ever to be shattered, she would run with blood.

Access: 6.5 kilometres north-east of Penrith on the A686 road, a minor road leads north from Langwathby to Little Salkeld. 0.5 km beyond Little Salkeld a track off to the left leads directly to the site, and there is room to park alongside the track.

Click here for full page mapLocal Map (from Multimap) (use your browser's "back" button to come back)

Rating: General Impression 3, Ambience 3, Access 4

Personal: The spiral on Long Meg is very memorable.

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