Swinside Stone Circle, Cumbria: The ‘mini-Stonehenge’ which sprang up overnight

The Swinside Stone Circle is little visited, despite its chilling origin story.

On the slopes of the Lake District’s Black Combe, near Broughton-in-Furness, this extraordinarily well-preserved Neolithic stone circle is barely visited, perhaps because it’s a mile’s walk to the nearest road. Its spooky story is that the stones appeared in the dead of night, after the Devil stole them from a nearby church, hence its moniker Sunkenkirk.

Sunkenkirk Stone Circle at Swinside Farm in the Lake District, Cumbria.

There are 55 stones — slate from nearby fells — at least half still standing, in a ring with a 94ft diameter and an entrance that aligns with the midwinter sunrise. It’s on private land, but can be seen from the track between Crag Hall and Swinside Farm.

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