I don’t usually have much time for Druidic folk: prancing about in their albino monks’ habits, offering up emotive sacrifices all over the place. What’s all that about? Those stones can’t really talk mate, give it up! However, my visit to this rather splendid little stone circle in Cumbria left me with admiration anew. They sure know how to knock-up beautifully chilled Bronze Age delights.
The stones are located on a spectacular spot known as Birkrigg Common, which overlooks the little village of Bardsea in Cumbria. The Common contains a few more ancient sites notably some Bronze Age tumuli but the stones are by far the most interesting. Not only that but they are unique in Cumbria as there are actually two concentric circles, which is quite rare. However, the outer ring is barley perceptible as the few stones that remain are very small and for the most part covered in grass. Nevertheless the inner circle is wonderfully proportioned and very charming. Each of the stones is just the right size, the tallest standing at about 1metre; this gives the site an intimate feel when standing in its centre, which is just what the ancestors intended I would imagine.
The stones command a wonderful view overlooking the coast and the small island known as Chapel Island. However, the Common is not particularly large and appeared well used by locals when we visited, so your visit may not be as chilled as some of the more remote sites. Of course this does mean that you can park-up very close to the stones, which in turn means that those beardy builders get my vote.
Finding the Druid’s Circle is also a doddle: head out of Ulverston (where comedy God Stan Laurel was born) along the coastal A5087 until you come to the village of Bardsea. It’s easy to spot as it has a beautiful church with a tall spire. In addition you should be able to see Chapel Island out in the bay. Turn right up the hill and follow the road round to the back of the Common, where you should be able to see the stones from a little parking spot.