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England -Long Meg and her Daughters - A Stone Circle
The second stone circle we encountered was "Long Meg and her Daughters". We were not prepared for what we encountered. It was huge!
Later I read that the circle had a diameter of about 350 feet and that this name came from a local witch, Meg of Meldon, who was alive in the early 17th century. It is near Penrith in the English County of Cumbria.
Long Meg is the tallest of the stones and about 12 feet high. It is made out of local red sandstone and was placed 60 feet outside the circle. An interesting fact is in her placement... each of it's four corners face the points of the compass and three symbols of megalithic art including a cup and ring mark, a spiral and rings of concentric circles.
The circle is supposedly endowed with magic, so that it is impossible to count the same number of stones twice, but if you do then the magic is broken. Guess it was lucky that I kept muffing up the count. My best count was that Her "daughters" were between 60 and 75 stones. The daughters were boulders of rhyolite granite.
Her daughters were brought here from miles and miles away.
One of the most famous local legends claim that Long Meg was a witch who with her daughters were turned to stone by a Scottish wizard named Michael Scot for dancing wildly on the moor on the Sabbath. I have a hard time believing this myth as the stones date from 1500 BC.
The monument commonly called Long Meg
- A poem by William Wordsworth.
A weight of Awe not easy to be borne
Fell suddenly upon my spirit, cast
From the dread bosom of the unknown past,
When first I saw that family forlorn;
Speak Thou, whose massy strength and stature scorn
The power of years - pre-eminent, and placed
Apart, to overlook the circle vast.
Speak Giant-mother! tell it to the Morn,
While she dispels the cumbrous shades of night;
Let the Moon hear, emerging from a cloud,
At whose behest uprose on British ground
That Sisterhood in hieroglyphic round
Forth-shadowing, some have deemed the infinite
The inviolable God that tames the proud.
William Wordsworth 1822