Also known as Duddo Five Stones, The Women, and previously Duddo Four Stones.
This magical place will forever occupy one of the most special places in my heart as I first visited with my boyfriend and soulmate as part of a wonderful trip he took me on near the beginning of our relationship.
Duddo Five Stones is an ancient stone circle lying remote and hidden on the outskirts of the small, quiet town of Duddo in the very Northern regions of Northumberland; only four miles from the Scottish Border.
When the Duddo Stones were erected cannot be known for sure, however archaeologists have told us that the likelihood, as with many other British stone circles, is that the circle was erected around the late Neolithic / early Bronze Age period. The site is extremely beautiful, situated atop a small hill with a clear view of the Northern Cheviot’s to the South, and the hills of Eildon in Scotland to the North on a clear day. As far as the eye can see there are crops, fields, grasses and forests with no man made / artificial structures or eyesores to spoil the view.
Originally, as is common place with Stone Circles, there were seven stones, however until 1903 only four stones remained standing. As with the age of the stones, nobody can tell for certain why three of the stones were missing from the circle, however in 1903 the fifth stone was found and erected again to stand with it’s fellows on this magical site.
We all know that stone circles played an important role in the lives of pagan communities and those who followed nature based religions as far back as the Bronze Age, which lasted from 3000 BC to 1209 BC. It was during this period in history, as prehistoric man moved out of the Stone Age and into the Bronze Age, that the first communities and settlements were formed; the most well known being Ancient Egypt and the Sumerians of Mesopotamia.
However, pre-dating Christianity significantly, pagan practice and nature based worship was the most prevalent of religions, and more than a religion, but rather a way of life, in the UK and European regions also, until the dawn of Christianity drove these practices and those who practised then underground and into the shadows (I will talk more about this on another post).
Moving back to stone circles, my boyfriend and I ended up at Duddo Stone Circle as he had looked for some pagan sites in the area for us to visit whilst we were staying at an enchanting cottage on the Scottish Border. When we got there we parked on the grass verge at the side of the road beside a gate and a small sign for the Stone Circle. There is nowhere else to park, and all of the sources we found online also recommended parking on the grass verge. There is plenty of space and we felt like leaving my car (Ivy) there was perfectly safe, so we set off on our adventure.
The walk from the gate to the stones was a reasonably flat and easy one and only took around fifteen minutes across grass and a few muddy areas. We visited in Mid March however I’ve read that if you visit in the summer months the walk up to the stones is through long grasses and corns. We knew we wanted to sit and take in the magic and the atmosphere and to feel the energies of the stones and the location, so we took some snacks and a drink so we could spend as long as we wanted to there.
When we got there the wind was howling and wild and the bite in the air was bitter. And as much as I’m generally not a fan of the wind as it messes with my gazebos, on this day and at this moment the wind reflected how my soul felt exactly; wild and howling with delight at the raw and ancient energies flowing across and though these stones that have stood on this hill top since the Pharaoh Menes united the Upper and Lower Kingdoms of ancient Egypt marking the start of the first dynasty.
We walked around the stones, through the stones and around the circular Henge that is an obvious ring in the grass around the stones. We visited the visitor plaque which us tastefully and discreetly places slightly away from the stones down a short grass path. We laid our hands on the stones and felt the vibrations course through us as if the stones wanted to tell us the many stories of their long and enduring history.
Whilst we sat and had our snack (I am Type 1 diabetic – there is always a snack at hand) and drink, sheltered behind one of the bigger stones from the rage of the ravenous wind, we just let ourselves feel. To me, the air felt electric and as I closed my eyes my spirit danced to the drum beat rhythm of the pagan rituals I feel sure this Stone Circle has hosted over it’s centuries of dominion over this cold hill.
As I laid my hands on the stones my hands and arms felt cold, a connection with the ancient was made, energies of past wisdom shared were absorbed and a sense of peace settled deep in my wild woman core where the Goddess resides and cries out for this connection to the ways of the wise woman of old.
I also feel sure that Duddo Stone Circle is home to many of the Fae; how could they not live in such a energetically alive, wild and baron place. I want to talk about the Fae much more over coming posts as they will take more than one post to cover.
A Spooky Tale
When we reached Duddo Stone Circle, we set down our bag in the centre whilst we walked around and absorbed everything around us. In the centre of the stones is a small circle of rocks; this is where we placed our bag. When we left I picked up a stone from outside of the circle; it was not a part of the formation in any way. Beside it was a length of Ivy. You may have noticed above that my car is called Ivy. I also have an Ivy tattoo and feel a strong affinity with this evergreen. At the location of the Duddo Stone Circle there is no Ivy and nowhere obvious that this one single length of Ivy would have come from. I collected the Ivy and the stone, thanked the Mother Earth for these gifts, and took them with me when we left.
For the next two days many strange things happened. Plates flew off the draining board, items went missing, candles refused to light. After this continued into the second day I set up a ritual space and gave an offering and further thanks for the Ivy and stone and included my boyfriend in this ritual also. Immediately the strange happenings stopped. The moral of this story; whether it be the Goddess, the Fae, spirits of ancestral pagan or something else, a proper and appropriate thanks and offering is not only necessary but the right ting to do, if you are gifted anything at all by an other worldly being.
I think I’ve spoken about these fabulous stones enough, and cannot re comment you visiting them enough. But for now, or me it is time for bed.
Stay Wild & Blessed Be.