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.’
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.
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.
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.