Chapel Flat, Dalston, Cumbria

Stone Circle (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NY 37 50

Archaeology & History

Listed in Burl’s (2000) magnum opus, this is another long-lost megalithic ring, whose exact location seems to have been forgotten.  An early description of the site by William Whellan (1860) told us that,

“There was formerly a circle of rude stones, ten yards in diameter, near the village, supposed to have been the remains of a Druidical temple; and a little distance from it, was a tumulus, three yards high and eight in diameter.”

More than a hundred years later in Waterhouse’s (1985) fine survey, he described the circle, saying:

“It lay near the village of Dalton…near the River Caldew… An 18th century account describes it as consisting of ‘rude’ stones…set in a circle of diameter about 27m.  East of the the centre of the circle were four large stones lying on top of each other.  They may have been the remains of a cist, or possibly a tumbled cove, like that inside the circle-henge of Arbor Low in Derbyshire.  A tumulus may have stood nearby.”

There are however some discrepancies in the descriptions between Whellan and Waterhouse.  In the former, the site of Chapel Flat is talked of separately as being the abode of a hermit in the lost chapel of St. Wynemius, “in a deep and romantic part of the vale of Caldew.”  The description of the stone circle immediately follows this, but is spoken of as merely being “near the village.”

Does anyone know anything further about this once important site?  Did the lost hermitage on Chapel Flat actually have anything to do with the stone circle?


  1. Burl, Aubrey, The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, Yale University Press 2000.
  2. Waterhouse, John, The Stone Circles of Cumbria, Phillimore: Chichester 1985.
  3. Whellan, William, The History and Topography of the Counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland, Comprising their Ancient and Modern History, W.Whellan: Pontefract 1860.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)

Written by 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *