There are reports of Shap Granite boulders on the seabed of the Tees Bay. These boulders were transported by a glacier during the Late Devensian glaciation about 30,000 years ago. They originate from a granite outcrop on the fells just south of the village of Shap in Cumbria.
Driving through Dalehouse today I spotted this lovely Shap Granite erratic. I got talking to the man whose land it is on and he told me that he had brought it up from the valley bottom. He also told me of a neighbour who had dragged an even larger boulder of the same rock type into his garden and was using it as a healing stone, apparently he sits on it for a period of time and it eases his aches and pains. I asked the man whether he had any similar experiences with his stone, he said that he hadn’t, the only thing he had noticed was that passing dogs enjoyed cocking their legs against it.
I took a trip over to Darlington to have a look at some old stones in St Cuthbert’s Church. The website states that the church is open from 11-2… it was wasn’t.
Plan B. Next door to the church is the Town Hall. Designed by Williamson, Faulkner Brown and Partners in collaboration with Borough Architect, A. E. Torbohm. The building opened in May 1970.
The sculpture in front of the building is the work of John Hoskin and is called Resurgence.
Walking the boundary of the building, in parts under the eye of the security guard, I found a pair truncated posts made of Shap Granite. I’m always chuffed when I find a lump of this beautiful stone. I then noticed that half of the market place is paved with the stuff.
After wandering around the town I returned to the church, it was still locked.
This beautiful concentric stone circle is situated a mile and a half north of Shap in Cumbria, an area rich in prehistoric monuments.
It is thought that the outer circle was erected during the Neolithic period. The circle is the same diameter as the famous stone circle at Castlerigg. Another similarity is the two large portal stones, a feature that can also be found at the Castlerigg circle. This leads to speculation that perhaps the two circles were erected by the same prehistoric architect.
The inner circle and a central cist were added during the Bronze Age, perhaps changing the use of the site from a place of ceremony and ritual to a sepulchral function, a place of the dead.
Another remarkable aspect of this lovely stone ring is it’s proximity to the M6 southbound carriageway, which is just a stones throw away. The soundtrack here is one of speeding traffic.
Access to the site is via Gunnerwell Farm, this is private land, if you visit be sure to ask at the farmhouse, the farmer is very friendly. Also you need to cross a stream to access the field where the stones are located, wellies are advisable.
The Stone Circles of Cumbria – John Waterhouse 1985
Prehistoric Monuments of the Lake District – Tom Clare 2007
A Guide to the Stone Circles of Cumbria – Robert W.E. Farrah 2008
Dodgson attended Richmond Grammar School for a year while his father was vicar of Croft
Hunting for erratics amongst the river-worn cobbles of Frenchgate.
Zealous and Consistent members
The town has two subterranean legends. One tells of how a potter named Thompson discovered a cave beneath the castle. In the cave was a round table around which were a group of sleeping knights. Upon the table was a great sword and a horn. Thompson reached for the horn, waking knights from their sleep. Thompson fled and as he ran he heard a voice behind him say..
Potter Thompson, Potter Thompson!
If thou hadst drawn the sword or blown the horn,
Thou hadst been the luckiest man e’er was born.”
The second legend concerns a tunnel that runs from the castle to Easby Abbey. The tunnel was supposed to have been dug to allow the abbots to escape from the marauding Scots. Some soldiers wanted to explore the tunnel but found it too narrow. They sent a drummer boy into the passage and instructed him to beat his drum as he walked, allowing the soldiers to track his progress from the surface. At a point between the castle and the abbey the drum fell silent and the boy was never seen again.
Drummer Boy’s Stone
A stone has been erected on the riverside path to mark the point where the drumming ceased. The local legend is that the drummer boy’s ghost still walks the passage and occasionally his drum can still be heard beating.
A modern circle (2000CE) located on the east bank of the Middle Beck on the Town Farm Estate, Middlesbrough.
The circle contains examples of the three major rock types. There appears to be no obvious grading of the stones according to size. There is evidence of the re-use of stones, particularly three Shap granite boulders. There is some evidence of burning within the circle. A number of the stones have been decorated.
A potential alignment to the Winter Solstice sunrise over Godfaltar Hill.