With a sea view
The other night I watched a programme about Stonehenge and read an article in the Observer by Will Self about the same thing. It was all to do with the commercialisation of a Heritage site and whether this damaged the experience. The TV programme came out a little more optimistic than the article was suggesting, but there were in both a number of issues that I found quite fascinating. Sufficient for the moment though to reflect on the total non-commercialisation of the stone circles in Cumbria!
Of course none of them are as dramatic as Stonehenge in structure, but I think many of them beat the major one hands down on location. This is Birkrigg or Sunbrick Circle or also known as The Druids Circle. It is off the coast road out of Ulverston and you can just see the village of Bardsea down below. Although not easy to tell from the picture, the circle is actually sited quite high up on Birkrigg Common, with great views across Morecambe Bay.
So the opposite of commercialisation is to make sure that as few people as possible find it!
To get to this you have to find a minor road that is totally unsigned and looks as if it has a gate across it. You climb a steep and winding single track road up onto the common, which is a huge expanse of gorse and bracken. There is no sign and in fact the two footpath signs that do exist do not lead to either a path or the circle. Eventually, if you are lucky, after stumbling about for a bit, you find a sort of track and eventually, if you are lucky, you will find another track that leads to the stones. No sign and certainly no information and most certainly no visitor centre or souvenir shop!
Just a circle of stones that were put there around 3000 years ago for reasons unknown.
Actually this one is unusual as there is also an outer circle. The stones of the outer circle are hidden in the bracken, but we did find them and I was sitting on one to take this picture. It has been found that originally both the inner and the outer circle were paved with cobbles. This was with a stone known as ‘blue rag’, which must have been brought from a long distance. So there was definitely some great purpose to the building.
A gorgeous day and a lovely lunch and walk along the sands. Many people out enjoying the sunshine.