Fontburn Four-Poster Stone Circle, Northumberland

Fontburn four-poster stone circle near Morpeth in the heart of Northumberland. (Image: Andrew Curtis. Fontburn four-poster stone circle in Northumberland)

Overlooking Fontburn Reservoir in Northumberland, just 10 miles northwest of Morpeth, stands an ancient stone circle that dates back to the Bronze Age. The circle is one of several ancient monuments situated around the 19th century reservoir, and can be reached by a circular path that surrounds the popular fishing spot and nature reserve.

An example of a four-poster circle, the Fontburn stone circle consists – as its name suggests – of four small standing stones. The ‘four-poster’ configuration is relatively common in Scotland and northern England, but less so further south.

Another local example is The Goatstones, which are situated on the rugged upland 2.5 miles north of Hadrian’s Wall in the Wark-on-Tyne parish. The Fontburn four-poster stone circle is decorated with cup marks and a possible ring.

You can find more rock art, including cup and ring carvings which abound across Northumberland, in our feature on the ancient monuments of Neolithic Britain.