AN HISTORIC Lake District landmark has been damaged and will require complicated stonemasonry to repair it.

The Three Shires Stone, at the summit of Wrynose Pass was found lying on its side by a passer-by who contacted the Gazette.

The stone, erected in 1860, is a boundary stone that marks the location where the historic English counties of Lancashire, Cumberland and Westmorland met.

The limestone structure was built decades earlier in Cartmel in 1816. In 1997, it was smashed into four pieces after being struck by a car, and Troutbeck Bridge stonemason Gordon Greaves was commissioned to restore it. It was re-erected the following year.

Simon Hill, area ranger for the National Trust, warned it could be a while before the landmark is repaired.

“Unfortunately, the Three Shires Stone was recently seriously damaged. I’ve had the chance to visit the site to inspect the stone and unfortunately the repair is not straightforward, complicated by the fact that it is Grade II listed," he said.

"In 1998 the National Trust, with local support, repaired and re-erected the stone following a vehicle accident and so we will endeavour to do the same again. We’re currently deciding on the most appropriate course of action to ensure the Three Shires Stone can stand once more, but repairs will take time.”