Backstone Circle
Possible Stone Circle ?

Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire  OS Map Ref SE12604613
OS Maps - Landranger 104 (Leeds & Bradford), Explorer 297 (Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley)


Backstone Beck Circle
Are the upright stones in this picture the remains of a double circle?

This site is a bit of a mystery. It is mentioned by several sources but they give little detail, while the stone circle expert Aubrey Burl ignores it and I have yet to find any photographs and little solid information about it. Whilst visiting Ilkley Moor I spoke to a knowledgeable local who had been studying the area for many years and his opinion was that the circle may well be a fake, the stones having been placed there recently and as this particular area was formerly mined for rock there would have been plenty of stones lying about for the builders to choose from. Alternatively, another local expert Paul Bennett seems fairly convinced that the site is indeed genuine. In his book 'Circles, Standing Stones and Legendary Rocks of West Yorkshire' he suggests that the site may in fact consist of a double ring of stones, the inner ring comprising of 4 or 5 remaining stones and the outer ring having at least 8 stones remaining. He also suggests several possible alignments with other monuments and carved rocks on the moor. An full understanding of the site is also made more difficult by the intrusion of a more recent settlement building and wall that seems to cut right through the circle, as well as the whole area being badly overgrown with long grasses.


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