Blakeley Raise Stone Circle is a beautiful little stone circle on the edge of the Western Lakeland Fells. It has been sympathetically restored and offers excellent views, this is one of the easiest of the Cumbrian circles to access sitting right by the roadside.
Known locally as Kinniside Stone Circle, the circle had been dismantled in the 18th century by a farmer who used the stones for gate-posts.
Not long after the First World War, a restoration job was accomplished by a Dr Quine, from Frizington, in 1925, who set the stones in concrete. Having cleaned out and measured the sockets in the ground in which the stones were originally set, missing stones were located and restored.
Quine spoke of a “partial restoration” which suggests that many of the stones are standing in their original positions.
The circle has eleven granite stones set in a perfect circle, with a diameter of 18 metres and a possible cairn at its centre. The tallest stone is 1.15 metres high.
A Neolithic (2,000 – 4,000 BC) stone axe was been found near the site of the stone circle, around 1935. Another axe was also found, from post medieval times – 1540 AD to 1900 AD.
There is a strong local tradition that this is a fake monument. The stones however, are aligned such, that the peak of the mountain of Grike always mark the equinox sunrises. Also two standing stones are on an exact line, a thousand yards to the south. The evidence does point to the fact that the circle, although restored, is genuine.
The fell road from Ennerdale Bridge to Calder Bridge passes within a few metres of the stone circle. From the circle there is a clear view to the coast at Whitehaven, and beyond to Scotland and the Isle of Man.