There are some 50 stone circles in Cumbria, including some of the earliest stone circles in Britain.
There is a vast range of types, from the vast monumental circles at Castlerigg, Swinside and Long Meg, to the standard early bronze age circles of about 100 ft in diameter as at Casterton and Elva Plain, to diminutive rings associated with alignments and burials. Some are associated with henge monuments such as Mayburgh. Even today the purpose of these stones remains a mystery. Theories range from religious meeting places to the first astromomical observatories, although we prefer the rather more wacky explanations that local folklore often provides
Castlerigg Stone Circle was bought in 1913 by the co-founder of the National Trust. The stone circle is on land owned by the National Trust, and maintained by The English Heritage.