Over Rig

Ancient, Ruins
A mysterious natural amphitheatre that has confounded historians and archaeologists for more than a century

About Over Rig

Park at the lay-by on the unclassified road to the north of the site. Walk south about 70 metres to the interpretation board overlooking the funnel-shaped location.

This site was excavated by Richard Bell of Castle O'er in the 1890s, and more recently by Roger Mercer in 1984-5, as the White Esk river threatened to erode the site (the threat is still there).

This is a puzzling site, with nothing quite like it anywhere else in Britain, and it is not at all clear what kind of things happened here. Looking around, this is certainly not a site where our ancestors would choose to live permanently, nor was it a site suitable for defence. However, it is a natural amphitheatre so that it is tempting to think of some kind of happening with spectators. During the 1984-5 excavations Mercer and his colleagues were impressed by the excellent acoustics of the site. Try them out for yourself!

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