|December sun setting over Long Meg|
|Long Meg with a half-moon just visible|
|Spiral Carving on Long Meg|
|Some of Long Meg's Daughters|
These pictures were taken at the end of a beautiful and memorable 7 mile walk from Little Salkeld in the Eden Valley, a walk full of history and interest.
During the walk we had also visited Lacy's Caves near Glassonby: a romantic folly consisting of five chambers carved out of the red sandstone cliff above the River Eden. They were commissioned in the 18th century by Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Lacy (who lived in nearby Salkeld Hall and once infamously attemted to blow up Long Meg and Her Daughters. His attempt only failed as there was a violent thunderstorm just as the work started and his workers, fearing supernatural displeasure, downed tools and refused to continue.)
|View of River Eden from Lacy's Caves, Glassonby|
The Colonel used the caves to entertain guests, and the surrounding area was originally planted with ornamental gardens. There is even a report that Lacy employed a man as a hermit to add that extra authenticity to the caves.
|Lacy's Caves Glassonby|
Also encountered on the walk is a large kerbed cairn, the small cairn circle of Little Meg with it's spiraled rock art weirdly resembling two eyes, and then, along the processional trackway that leads directly from Little Meg to Long Meg, there is the interestingly positioned Addingham Church, which is at the halfway point of the trackway. A beautiful Anglo-Saxon hammer-head cross, a Viking cross and hog-back tombstone, being amongst the interesting features to be found within the Church and grounds.
Addingham St Michael & All Angels Church
|December sun setting over Long Meg & her daughters|
When we arrived at the circle, it struck us just how long the shadow of Long Meg was, resembling some kind of enormous sundial.
|The Long shadow of Long Meg|
This was an amazing walk, incorporating some fascinating and magical sites with a truly moving experience of walking the processional approach to Long Meg at such a synchronistic time.
|Long Meg & Her Daughters, Cumbria|
The walk comes from a fantastic book: 'Walks in Ancient Lakeland' by Robert Harris, which I would thoroughly recommend. I have visited a great many ancient sites in my time, and, earlier on in my history of visits, I most often used to park as close as possible, sometimes only a few hundred yards from the site I was visiting. The walks described in the book above take a completely different approach, which not only helps to place the monument within the wider context of its immediate environment, but is also, possibly, the way our ancient ancestors may have first experienced these awe-inspiring structures.
|Walking away from Long Meg & Her Daughters, Cumbria|
The sun had nearly disappeared by the time we trod the last few steps back to the car. A wonderful walk, do try it if you get the chance - either from the book mentioned, which has a lot of interesting information and drawings included in it, or via the link in the 'sources' section below, which is more or less the same walk (missing out Little Meg & the Cairn circle) from the Guardian Newspaper.
Thanks for reading
Artwork, Carvings & Sculptures
~ inspired by history & nature ~
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