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placename:- Long Meg and Her Daughters
other name:- Hunsonby Stone Circle
parish Hunsonby parish, once in Cumberland
county:- Cumbria
stone circle
Altitude 574 feet
coordinates:- NY571372
10Km square:- NY53

1Km square NY5737

photograph

Long Meg and Her Daughters -- Hunsonby -- Cumbria / -- Long Meg, menhir. -- 30.5.2007
photograph

Long Meg and Her Daughters -- Hunsonby -- Cumbria / -- Cup and ring mark on Long Meg. -- 30.5.2007

old map:- OS County Series (Cmd 50 3)

County Series maps of Great Britain, scales 6 and 25 inches to 1 mile, published by the Ordnance Survey, Southampton, Hampshire, from about 1863 to 1948.

placename:- Long Meg and her Daughters
antiquity
date:- 1890=1899
period:- 19th century, late; 1890s

old map:- Dunlop 1950s

Drawn by J R Hart.
Pictorial map, colour lithograph, A Dunlop Map of the Lake District, scale about 4 miles to 1 inch, by J R Hart, published by Dunlop Robber Co, about 1950?
thumbnail DP01E5, button to large image

placename:- Long Meg and her daughters
date:- 1950
period:- 1950s

text:- Mason 1907 (edn 1930)

Page 26:-
...
... More interesting remains still are those of three Druid temples, which are circles formed of huge blocks of stone planted upright in the ground; the largest of these stone circles, called "Long Meg and her Daughters," is near Penrith. "Long Meg" is a lady some six yards high.
date:- 1907
period:- 1900s

source:- Martineau 1855

Guide book, A Complete Guide to the English Lakes, by Harriet Martineau, published by John Garnett, Windermere, Westmorland, and by Whittaker and Co, London, 1855; published 1855-71.
Page 96:-
... [country people] still hold to the notion that nobody can count the druid stones correctly; and also that a treasure is buried under the largest stone. ... We ourselves counted Long Meg and her daughters, near Penrith, many times before making out the prescribed sixty-seven, with any certainty. As for the treasure, can any one prove that it is not there? ...
...
Page 170:-
... The circle called Long Meg and her daughters is six miles from Penrith; and no relic of the kind in England is better worth a visit. ...
date:- 1855
period:- 19th century, late; 1850s

descriptive text:- Ford 1839 (3rd edn 1843)

Description of Scenery in the Lake District, by William Ford, published by Charles Thurnham, London, et al, 1839; published 1839-52.
Page 29:-
... on a black moor, ... our eyes are greeted with the sight of
LONG MEG AND HER DAUGHTERS.
The road passes through the midst of the circle, as also does a wall, forming the boundary of the common, thus injuring the effect of this mighty monument of British superstition. The stones, sixty-six in number, are of various sizes, some lying hid amidst the herbage, others standing erect, and forming a circle three hundred and fifty paces in circumference. On the south side, without the circle, stands Long Meg, a large upright stone, about fifteen feet round, and eighteen feet high, of unhewn freestone, which seems to have been brought from Lazonby Moor, all the rest being a kind of
Page 130:-
whinstone. Within the circle, near Long Meg, four of them form a square; and towards the east, west, and north, two stones of greater magnitude are placed at a much wider distance than the rest. ...
Page 175:-
... a druidical monument called 'Long Meg and her Daughters,' consisting of one very high
Page 176:-
stone, and about sixty others, forming a circle, the property of Colonel Lacy of Eden Lacy;

placename:- Long Meg and Her Daughters
person:- : Lacy, Colonel
date:- 1839
period:- 19th century, early; 1830s

old print:- Otley 1823 (8th edn 1849)

Guidebook, Concise Description of the English Lakes, later A Description of the English Lakes, by Jonathan Otley, published by the author, Keswick, Cumberland, by J Richardson, London, and by Arthur Foster, Kirky Lonsdale, Cumbria, 1823 onwards.
thumbnail O80E19, button to large image
Engraving, Long Meg and Her Daughters, Hunsonby, drawn by T Binns, engraved by O Jewitt, on p.67 of A Descriptive Guide of the English Lakes, by Jonathan Otley, 8th edition, 1849.

placename:- Long Meg and Her Daughters
date:- 1849
period:- 19th century, early; 1840s

descriptive text:- Otley 1823 (5th edn 1834)

Guidebook, Concise Description of the English Lakes, later A Description of the English Lakes, by Jonathan Otley, published by the author, Keswick, Cumberland, by J Richardson, London, and by Arthur Foster, Kirky Lonsdale, Cumbria, 1823 onwards.
image OT01P081, button   goto source.
Page 81:-
...
A monument of the same kind [as Castlerigg Stone Circle], but of far larger dimensions, called Long Meg and her Daughters,
image OT01P082, button   goto source.
Page 82:-
stands near Little Salkeld, seven miles N.E. of Penrith. This circle is 350 paces in circumference, and is composed of 67 massy unformed stones, many of them ten feet in height. At seventeen paces from the southern side of the circle, stands Long Meg - a square unhewn column of red freestone, near 15 feet in girth, and 18 feet high.
date:- 1823
period:- 19th century, early; 1820s

old text:- Camden 1789

Britannia, or A Chorographical Description of the Flourishing Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by William Camden, 1586, translated from the 1607 Latin edition by Richard Gough, published London, 1789.
Page 174:-
...
... Salkelds. At the lesser stands a kind of circle of 77 stones, each ten feet high, and before them at the entrance a single one 15 feet high. The common people hereabouts call this Long Megg, and the rest her daughters, and within the circle are two heaps of stones, under which they say the bodies of the slain were buried. And indeed it is probable enough that this is a monument of some victory.

placename:- Long Megg
date:- 1789
period:- 18th century, late; 1780s

old text:- Camden 1789 (Gough Additions)

Britannia, or A Chorographical Description of the Flourishing Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by William Camden, 1586, translated from the 1607 Latin edition by Richard Gough, published London, 1789.
Page 190:-
...
Long Meg and her daughters, in Addingham parish, q.d. Ald Hengham, a town at the old hanging stones, is a druidical circle, 300 feet diameter, of 100 stones, of which 67 are now standing. At the south side 15 paces south-west at the distance of 70 feet or 40 yards is an upright squarish stone near 15 feet in girth, and 12 high, and near two yards square at bottom and hollow at top like a Roman altar, one of its angles turned to the circle, and each angle answering to a cardinal point, and near it next the circle four large stones, or as Stukeley three, forming an altar or sacellum, and two towards the east, west, and north. In the middle of the circle are two round plots of ground, of a different colour from the rest, and more stony and barren. ...

placename:- Long Meg and Her Daughters
locality:- Addingham
person:- : Stukeley, Willam
date:- 1789
period:- 18th century, late; 1780s

descriptive text:- West 1778 (11th edn 1821)

Guide book, A Guide to the Lakes, by Thomas West, published by William Pennington, Kendal, Cumbria once Westmorland, and in London, 1778 to 1821.
image WS21P171, button   goto source.
Page 171:-
... At Little-Salkeld is the largest druidical circle in the northern parts. ...
date:- 1778
period:- 18th century, late; 1770s

descriptive text:- Simpson 1746

The three volumes of maps and descriptive text published as 'The Agreeable Historian, or the Compleat English Traveller ...', by Samuel Simpson, 1746.
image SMP4P190, button   goto source.
...
Salkelds, at the least of which is a Circle of Stones, 77 in Number, each of them 10 Feet high, and before them stands a single one by itself, which is 15 Feet high; this the common People call Long Meg, and the rest her Daughters; and within the Circles are two Heaps of Stones, under which the People suppose there are dead Bodies buried, which Mr. Camden thinks very probably; but he supposes that the great Stones are a Monument to some Victory; but that the Commentator is of Opinion, that the Heap of Stones in the Middle of the Monument are no Part of it; but having been gather'd off the plough'd Lands adjoining, have been thrown together here as in a waste Corner of the Field; and as to the great Stones, he says, they seem to be Monuments erected at the solemn Investiture of some Danish Kings, like Rolrich Stones in Oxfordshire, those of Kongstolen in Denmark, and Mooresteen in Sweden. ...
date:- 1746
period:- 18th century, early; 1740s

descriptive text:- Fiennes 1698

Travel book, manuscript record of Journeys through England including parts of the Lake District, by Celia Fiennes, 1698.
A mile from Peroth in a low bottom a moorish place stands Great Mag and her Sisters, the story is that these soliciting her to an unlawfull love by an enchantment are turned with her into stone; the stone in the middle which is called Mag is much bigger and have some forme like a statue or figure of a body but the rest are but soe many craggy stones, but they affirme they cannot be counted twice alike as is the story of Stonidge [Stonehenge], but the number of these are not above 30; however what the first design of placeing them there either as a marke of that sort of moorish ground or what else, the thing is not so wonderfull as that of Stonidge, because there is noe such sort of stone in 20 miles off those downs and how they of so vast a bulk and weight should be brought thither, whereas all this country abounds with quarrys of stone and its mostly rocks.

placename:- Great Mag and her Sisters
date:- 1698
period:- 17th century, late
period:- 1690s

poem:- Drayton 1612/1622 text

Poem, Polyolbion, by Michael Drayton, published 1612, part 2 with Cumbria published by John Marriott, John Grismand, and Thomas Dewe, London, 1622.
page 168:-

date:- 1612; 1622
period:- 17th century, early; 1610s; 1620s

old map:- Drayton 1612/1622

Map, Cumberlande and Westmorlande, by Michael Drayton in part 2 of Polyolbion, probably engraved by William Hole; published by John Marriott, John Grismand, and Thomas Dewe, London, 1622.
thumbnail DRY508, button to large image
Sakelds stones
Ring of 18 standing stones.

placename:- Sakelds Stones
date:- 1622
period:- 17th century, early; 1620s

descriptive text:- Keer 1605 (edn 1620)

Map, Westmorlandia et Comberlandia, ie Westmorland and Cumberland now Cumbria, scale about 16 miles to 1 inch, probably by Pieter van den Keere, or Peter Keer, about 1605; published about 1605 to 1676.
third page:-
(9) And at Salkelds upon the River Eden, a Monument of seventie seven stones, each of them ten foot high above ground, and one of them at the entrance fifteene, as a Trophie of Victory was erected. These are by the By-dwellers called Long Megge and her daughters.
date:- 1620
period:- 17th century, early; 1620s

old print:-
thumbnail PR0753, button to large image
Print, uncoloured engraving, Long Meg and her Daughters, near Little Salkeld, Hunsonby, Cumberland, published by the Gentleman's Magazine, 1752.
Tipped in opposite p.311 in the Gentleman's Magazine vol.22, 1752.
There is accompanying text p.311:-
'Wigton July 1712.'
'I Went some days ago to examine tha curious remain of British antiquities called Long Meg and her Daughters, about which it must be acknowledged all conjectures are extremely uncertain.'
'They are situated upon an eminence on the east side of the river Eden, near a mile from it, above a village called Little Salkeld; this eminence appeared to have been all moor formerly, but now about half ye stones are within inclosures, placed in an orbicular form, in some places double. I make 70 principal ones, but there are 1 or 2 more disputable; several lie flat on the surface, their greatest eminence not exceeding a foot, others yet less, and others perpendicular to the horizon; the highest of those in the circular range does not much exceed 3 yards, nor is it more than 4 wide, and 2 deep; but none of them have a regularity of shape, though the constructors seem to have aimed at a parallelopipedon. Long Meg herself is near four yards high, and about 40 yards from the ring, towards the southwest, but leans much, it being of what they call the free-stone kind, is more regular than those in the circle, and is formed like a pyramid on a rhomboidal base, each side being near two yards at the bottom, but a good deal narrower at the top. (What I mean by the base is only the ground plan of the stone itself, for as to what is in architecture called base, it has none but earth). The others in the orbicular range are of no kind of stone to be found in that neighbourhood, and the four facing the cardinal points are by far the largest and most bulky of the whole ring; they contain at least 648 solid feet or about 13 London cartloads, and, unless they are a composition, (which I am much induced to believe) no account can be given what carriages could have brought them there, nor by what means they could be placed erect when they came. It is to be noted that these measures are only what appeared above groound; we have reason to suspect that at last a yard is sleft in the earth, wch will make the whole amount to a prodigious weight more. Others are erect, but not of such enormous size, and others, as I said before, lie flat along, not thrown down, as I think, but so placed either by choice or design, and some of these are also very large. In diameter the ring may be 80 yards or more, and the circle is pretty regular, but how they came there and their destination is the important question.'
'I am, Sir, Yours, &c. G.S.'
printed at top:-
LONG MEG and her DAUGHTERS, near Little Salkeld, Cumberland.
GS is George Smith.

placename:- Long Meg and Her Daughters
date:- 1752
period:- 18th century, late

old print:- Bogg 1898

Book, Lakeland and Ribblesdale, OR A Thousand Miles of Wandering along the Roman Wall, the Old Border Region, Lakeland, and Ribblesdale, by Edmund Bogg, publishd by Edmund Bogg, 3 Woodhouse Lane, and James Miles, Guildford Street, Leeds, Yorkshire, 1898.
thumbnail BGG121, button to large image
Print, engraving, Long Meg, Long Meg and Her Daughters, Hunsonby, Cumberland, by Owen Bowen, published by Edmund Bogg, 3 Woodhouse Lane, and James Miles, Guildford Street, Leeds, Yorkshire, 1898.
Included on p.66 of Lakeland and Ribblesdale, by Edmund Bogg.
date:-
period:- 19th century, late

old print:-
thumbnail PR0307, button to large image
Print, uncoloured engraving, Long Meg and Her Daughters, Cumberland, published by the Illustrated London News, 12 August 1882.
Illustrations of place visited by the Royal Archaeological Institute.
date:- 1882
period:- 19th century, late

old print:-
thumbnail PR0429, button to large image
Print, uncoloured engraving, Druidical Remains, Long Meg and Her Daughters, Cumberland, published by B T Sweeten, Penrith, Cumberland, 1848.
printed at bottom:-
DRUIDICAL REMAINS. LONG MEG & HER DAUGHTERS. / B T SWEETEN PENRITH 1848

placename:- Long Meg and Her Daughters
date:- 1848
period:- 19th century, early

old print:- Lowther 1780s-90s

Scrapbook, 4 volumes, of descriptive texts, maps, and prints of views and coats of arms, for Westmorland and Cumberland, assembled by a member of the Lowther Family, late 18th early 19th century.
thumbnail BMZ01, button to large image
Print, engraving, Long Meg and her Daughters, late 18th century.
date:- 1760=1799
period:- 18th century, late

photographs
tiny photograph, 
button to large Long Meg and Her Daughters -- Hunsonby -- Cumbria / -- Cup and ring mark on Long Meg. -- 30.5.2007
tiny photograph, 
button to large Long Meg and Her Daughters -- Hunsonby -- Cumbria / -- 30.5.2007
tiny photograph, 
button to large Long Meg and Her Daughters -- Hunsonby -- Cumbria / -- 30.5.2007
tiny photograph, 
button to large Long Meg and Her Daughters -- Hunsonby -- Cumbria / -- 30.5.2007

Long Meg is a menhir, triassic sandstone, 3.7m high.
The 69 stones are in a Thom type B flatenned circle, 109x93m. William Stukeley visited 1725, and says some stones had been removed by blasting and others used for millstones. He described a smaller circle in an adjoining field.
Thom, A: 1967: Megalithic Sites in Britain: Oxford University Press (Oxford, Oxfordshire)
Waterhouse, John: 1985: Stone Circles of Cumbria: Phillimore and Co (Chichester, Sussex):: ISBN 0 85033 566 3
Burl, H A W: 1976: Stone Circles of the British Isles: Yale University Press (United States)
Stukeley, William: 1776: Iterarium Curiosum: (London): vol.2: p.48

story It is said, that Michael Scott, the 13th century wizard turned Meg and her coven into stone during an unholy rite. He put a spell on the stones so that no one could count them; if you count the stones and get the same number twice in succession, they will come to life.

references Robertson, Dawn & Koronka, Peter: 1992: Secrets and Legends of Old Westmorland: Pagan Press (Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria) & Cumbria CC (library service)

Old Cumbria Gazetteer - JandMN: 2013

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