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Friday, 9 December 2016

Castlerigg



Lake Bassenthwaite, where we stayed, is reputedly the resting place of King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur. The legend may have inspired Lord Tennyson who wrote Morte d’Arthur and Idylls of the King, whilst staying at Mirehouse, overlooking the lake.



The place that really took our breath away was Castlerigg – literally for it is a two-mile walk from Keswick, the latter part up a long and very steep hill. Overlooking the stone circle is Bencathra, reputedly where King Arthur and his knights sleep. Something very easy to believe for those that way inclined. Coleridge was one so inclined, describing Castlerigg as a ‘Druidical circle (where) the mountains stand one behind the other, in orderly array as if evoked by and attentive to the assembly of white-vested wizards.’

Mrs Radcliffe
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 According to one of her biographers she was ‘exquisitely proportioned…. especially her eyes, eyebrows and mouth.' It was rumoured she died insane because of her writing though it was more likely she died of a brain haemorrhage.

The founder of Gothic horror, Mrs Radcliffe, held nothing back. ‘Whether our judgment was influenced by the authority of a Druid’s choice, or that the place itself commanded the opinion, we thought this situation the most severely grand of any hitherto passed. There is, perhaps, not a single object in the scene that interrupts the solemn tone of feeling impressed by its general character of profound solitude, greatness and awful wildness…such seclusion and sublimity were indeed well suited to the dark and wild mystery of the Druids.’





Tosh of course since Castlerigg predated the Druids by a thousand years or more.

Built approx 3,200 years ago in the Neolithic/early Bronze Age, the largest of the 38 stones is 16 tons. I hope for the sake of those Neolithic builders the stones were close to hand. The thought of them dragging it up that bloody big hill brings me out in a sweat.



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Some argue its purpose was essentially astronomical, others that it was a thriving market place for an early axe industry. Now it's a place of peace and knocks Stonehenge into a cocked hat.

4 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

That's my kind of trip. Poor Greg might have to have knew surgery durst. He's really struggling now. He's finally decided it's time to get a diagnosis.

Mike Keyton said...

My commiserations to Greg, to you both. I hope it's done, Greg gets a new lease of legs - and that it's not too expensive. Are you insured? I'm very confused over your new set up ref Obamacare - a curse or a blessing?

Maria Zannini said...

Sorry for all the typos. I was on my phone and auto correct was having its way with me. That and I was on a tour bus constantly bouncing up and down.

We went to San Antonio. Because of Greg's knees, we opted for as little walking as possible. It's a shame too because San Antonio is really a walking city.

We did do one bit of strenuous activity and I scheduled it for our first day since I knew his leg had been well rested. I can finally take visiting a cavern off my bucket list. :)

Mike Keyton said...

If you have pictures, that would bring back memories. What cavern did you go to? I went to Carlsbad caverns, but to my shame I can't remember exactly where they are situated now. That reads ambiguous. I'm sure they're situated in the same place - which is more than can be said of my memory