Twelve Apostles

At first glance an impressive prehistoric stone circle on Ilkley Moor but delving into its history more it turns out that it is regarded as one of the most damaged sites in West Yorkshire. It is suffering from severe erosion from the number of visitors, the inner cairn and earthbank almost flattened, it probably had twenty stones instead of the current twelve and these have been re-erected unofficially so may not be in the original position and alignment.

12 apostles



A climb up to Nab Ridge between Bilsdale and Tripsdale. Ended up trying to wade though a thistled rough pasture whilst following a diverted path around the manicured lawns of Cam House. And the pet llamas took a dislike to the dog.

I was aiming for the Bride Stones, a Bronze Age round barrow, long since gone with only the kerb stones remaining. A circle could clearly be seen, about ten metres in diameter, although many stones are now buried by the heather.

There are other Bride Stones on the moors and beyond throughout Northern England. Some say the name comes from Bride, the Mother Goddess of the Brigantes, a Celtic tribe inhabiting the modern counties of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Northumberland and Durham. Other placenames having the same etymology are Bridlington, Brigham and Brigg. An alternative theory is that the name originates from the Old English word for a young bird or chicken: “bridd”.

Sleddale Stone Circle

High on Wayworth Moor overlooking the quiet valley of Sleddale is a stone circle, dating from the Neolithic Age. Ritualistic monuments, are few and far between on the North York Moors. Barrows, burial mounds, abound but monuments built purely for ceremonial purposes are rare. There is a henge on Harland Moor to the south on the Tabular Hills and of course there are several others in the Vale of York notably Thornborough. The stone circle at Sleddale is by contrast very modest and would have been built when the moors were still covered by forest. Perhaps a meeting place for several extended families. It comprises about 16 stones, the highest just 600mm high. Not quite circular, more oval, about 20m across. Some excavation has taken place but no finds were found. Being so low lying the circle is difficult to photograph. This is where a drone would come in handy.

The Cockpit

A neolithic stone circle, not as grand as Stonehenge but very impressive high on the lakeland Barton Fell above Pooley Bridge.

What a contrasting three days in the Lakes. Friday warm and hazy, I was wearing shorts and T shirt. Yesterday clear but a strong, bitterly cold wind and today rain and low cloud with the rain falling as snow as low as 300m.