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24 September 2014

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Long Meg and her daughters
Long Meg between two of her daughters.
Long Meg between two of her daughters.
Long Meg and her daughters is a massive Bronze Age circle just north of Penrith.

English Heritage
Find ancient monuments throughout the country.

About the wizard Michael Scot

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The stones of Long Meg are placed in an oval shape - 100m X 93m

Long Meg, herself, is 3.6m tall and stands outside the circle

The spiral carvings lie on the faces of Long Meg that face the circle

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This is the third largest stone circle in the British Isles, and the sixth largest overall in the world.

It's thought that the circle originally consisted of 70 stones, however today there are only 59 remaining, and of those only 27 are standing.

Stone circles have always fascinated and Long Meg and her daughters has been one that has held peoples fancy more than most. Early in the 19th Century, William Wordsworth said of Long Meg "Next to Stonehenge it is beyond dispute the most notable relick that this or probably any other country contains.'"

Carving details on Long Meg
Ring carving details on Long Meg.

It is said that Long Meg and her daughters were a coven of witches who were holding their sabbat, when the Scottish wizard Michael Scot, came upon them and turned them to stone. The stones of the circle are said to be uncountable, and that should anyone ever reach the same total twice, that the spell would be broken.

Local history also tells the tale of the local squire who tried to remove the stones. As the work started a tremendous and terrifying storm broke out overhead, which caused the work to be permanently abandoned.

Finally its also said that should Long Meg ever be broken, she would run red with blood.

Offerings at Long Meg
Offerings at Long Meg

Today people still visit Long Meg to gaze at what our ancestors were capable of with minimal tools and their bare hands.

Also people still pay their respects to 'the old gods' by leaving offerings around Long Meg.

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


Long Meg looking North
Long Meg looking North
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