Bronze Age Stone Circle
Burley Moor, South of Ilkley, West Yorkshire OS Map Ref SE126452
OS Maps - Landranger 104 (Leeds & Bradford), Explorer 297 (Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley)
The Twelve Apostles looking east in late winter.
Set high on Burley Moor at a height of 380 metres above sea-level the Twelve Apostles stone circle stands close to a track 20-30 minutes walk from the Cow and Calf rocks and car-park.
This is a delightful circle set in a spectacular location and probably dates from the Bronze Age, although it seems to have been restored in recent years as old guide books refer to it as being badly damaged. It now has the twelve stones that its name suggests but the archaeologist Arthur Raistrick suggested that there were originally around twenty in the circle with a diameter of just under 16 metres, set within a rubble bank. None of these stones are particularly tall, the largest is less than a metre and a half in height and the whole aspect of the circle is similar to some of those found in Derbyshire.
There have been theories that suggest the stones were used for observation of the movement of the moon or celestial bodies - indeed it was once known as a 'druidical dial circle', however the fact that the site has been altered in the past would make this very difficult to prove. It is also said that from the circle the rising summer solstice sun appears exactly above the White Horse at Kilburn.
Although the circle is often referred to as 'The Twelve Apostles of Ilkley Moor' the site is in fact on Burley Moor, one of the constituent areas of the larger Rombald's Moor
An evening view of the Twelve Apostles.
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