Grey Croft Stone Circle
Location : Seascale
Grid Ref : NY 033024
A short distance north of Seascale, on a quiet pasture within Seascale How Farm, and only a few hundred metres from the sea, stands a ring of stones some 30 metres in diameter, with 10 stones, some reaching nearly two metres high. They are hard agglomerates of the Borrowdale volcanic series, apart from one which is sandstone. Ten of the original 12 stones remain. There is one outlier stone, at a distance of 34 metres.
In 1820, the farmer James Fox buried all but one of the stones , without the permission of the landowner, because they impeded his ploughing. In 1949 they were unearthed by Mr W Fletcher and the boys of Pelham House School, at Calderbridge, and restored to their original positions. They also found Bronze age artifacts, flints, stone axes and a (Whitby) jet ring. Red granite cobbles of a burial cairn were found within the circle. The finds are in the Tullie House Museum, Carlisle.
Few stone circles can have such an incongruous setting. A few hundred metres north of the circle is BNFL’s huge Sellafield Nuclear Site. Here is the world’s first commercial nuclear power station, Calder Hall, operating since the early 1950’s, and the Windscale Nuclear Reactor (Piles) – Britain’s first attempt at a nuclear reactor to produce plutonium for the war effort, which suffered a major incident in 1957. Here also is the Sellafield Reprocessing Plant – a controversial site that converts the spent fuel from nuclear reactors worldwide into re-useable uranium, plutonium, and highly radioactive fission products that will have to be safely stored for thousands of years.
The stone circle is on private land belonging to Seascale How Farm, but can be seen from a nearby footpath, that connects the Seascale to Sellafield road to the sea, crossing Seascale Golf Course.
Because of the closeness of the stone circle to Sellafield, and the obvious security ruling of no flying near Sellafield, this is the best aerial picture we can get of the stone circle.