button to main menu  Gents Mag 1752 p.311

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Gentleman's Magazine 1752 p.311

  Long Meg and Her Daughters
Long Meg and Her Daughters

Wigton July 1712.
I Went some days ago to examine that 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 left in the earth, which 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.
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