As part of our Stone Age project Buttermere and Ullswater visited Mayburgh Henge. They took part in a range of activities, led by a group of historians and storytellers. They listened to some historical stories with Anya, reading a map and lining up the stones with Blencathra.
The children had the opportunity to shoot real arrows and their aim improved with practice! Interestingly, they listened to the stones – putting their ears near and listening to each stories. Finally, as a group they put together a huge historical time line so they could understand the history of the world!
‘I enjoyed shooting the arrows, I was quite good at it!’ commented Freya.
‘I enjoyed dodging the cowpats,’ said Holly
The children had an amazing time learning about history at a local place of interest.
Mayburgh Henge is a large and impressive Neolithic henge, much better preserved than neighbouring King Arthur's Round Table. Its banks stand up to 3 metres (10 feet) high, and unusually are constructed of pebbles collected from the nearby river. Near the centre is a single standing stone: old drawings suggest that it was one of a group here, four more having been removed from the entranceway.
Mayburgh Henge probably dates to the end of the Neolithic period or the beginning of the Bronze Age, around 4,500 years ago.
The function of such large monuments is not fully understood, although it is thought that they played a role in social or ritual activities, perhaps involving trade or astronomical observations.