Druids of Yorkshire

The Druid’s Temple, named by its builder in the 1800s, is a vast imitation of Stone Henge, complete with phallus, cave, and a circle of standing stones. n the 1820s, William Danby of Swinton Hall decided to alleviate the area’s poverty by building a replica of Stone Henge in the nearby village of Ilton in the North Yorkshire Dales.


Druid’s Altar

Aubrey Burl (1988) wrote the following on Bordley’s druidical stones:

“On a circular mound 41ft (12.5m) across and 3ft (1m) high, three stones of local limestone form the corners of a rectangle 11ft 6in (3.5m) square, from which the SW stone is missing.  At its corner is ‘a stump, possibly the base of a prostrate stone,’ 5ft 10in (1.8m) long, now lying near the centre.  The tallest stone, 3ft 7in (1.1m) high is at the south-east.  The sides of the square are close to the cardinal points.  Between the SW and SE stones is a scatter of round cairnstones… Characteristically, the 4-Poster stands at the edge of a terrace from which the lands falls steeply to the west.”

The Druid’s Altar seems to have originally been a large prehistoric tomb, perhaps even a chambered cairn.  Its situation in the landscape where it holds a circle of many outlying hills to attention, almost in the centre of them all, was evidently of some importance.  The only geographical ‘opening’ from here is to the south, where a long open valley widens to capture the grandeur of Pendle Hill, many miles away.  This would not have been insignificant.

The “remains of Druidical sacrifice” was described as consisting of,

“a mound some four feet high, and fifty yards round the outer rim. In the centre are two upright stones about four feet in length; and others nearly buried in the mound. Numerous stones from this circle have been used in building the adjoining walls.”

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