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Long Meg and her Daughters - Cumbria, England
Stone Circle
National Grid Reference: NY 571 372

show a map

How To Get There

From Penrith follow the A686 to Langwathby. Here take a left turn onto a minor road signed for Little Salkeld. Follow the road through Little Salkeld, you should be seeing signs for the site by now (signed as a "Druid's Temple"..!). When you reach a cross-roads turn left and follow this lane all the way to the site.

The megalith in the photograph to the right is Long Meg herself, an impressive 12 foot high outlier. You can just make out the spiral carvings on the flat surface of Meg in the photograph. The 59 stones of the circle itself are her "daughters". The "circle" is actually more of an oval measuring about 300 feet by 360 feet and is unusually built upon quite a pronounced slope. The stones of the circle are large, as befits a circle of this stature, the largest weighing in at about 28 tons.

 

Local legend states that Long Meg and Her Daughters were witches holding a sabat when a wizard discovered them and turned them all into stone. The petrification of living people is a common theme in the folklore of stone circles, as is the story that the number of stones is reputed to be uncountable (see Rollright Stones). At this circle it is said that if anyone ever does correctly count the stones twice in succession then the spell of the wizard will be undone. Also common in folklore are stories of misfortune when standing stones are removed or interfered with. Here there is a story of a vicious storm breaking over the circle when an attempt was made to remove the stones. Another legend states that if Long Meg herself was ever damaged then she would bleed.

A general view of the circle, showing the pronounced slope on which it was built. Long Meg herself stands on the far edge of the circle.

Nearby Sites

Little Meg
Glassonby

Related Sites

Notes

Outlier :-

A standing stone set apart from the main formation of a stone circle, sometimes in an astronomically significant direction (for example midsummer's sunrise). Sometimes they mark the "entrance" to a stone circle. Examples are the Heel Stone at Stonehenge and the King Stone at the Rollright Stones.

 

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