The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Harkerside Moor Circle

Stone Circle


10 August 2003
I went up to this one following Fitzcoraldo's comments... and am in WHOLEHEARTED agreement.

Just my opinion, but if this really is what the OS has marked as a hut circle, all I can say is "is it HELL a hut circle "!

We all know the OS are flawed on this sort of thing – stone circles marked as cairns (Druid's Altar to name but one), cairns marked as stone circles, you name it….

I was accompanied by my mate John, a man not easily impressed with 'alleged sites', having like most of us here, seen plenty of stones. He thought it was a stone circle too.

That's 2 more necks out with yours Fitz!

The circle stands on a slight platform and is much wider than any hut circle I've ever seen or heard of. It shows no signs of ever having been even vaguely contiguous, which for me pretty much says it isn't a cairn circle either.

Some of the stones aren't firmly seated and may possibly not be in their proper positions, but some have what looked like very clear packing rubble and stones around them. Looks pretty damn authentic to me.

As well as the impressive 'earthwork' nearby, there are also what we thought looked like a few ruined cairns on the way to the circle.

To find the circle, we approached from Leyburn, heading for Grinton. Descending towards Grinton, we took a left turn signposted (I believe) to Redmire, a short distance after passing Grinton Lodge on the right.

This road goes gently uphill and pretty soon there is a sharpish bend left at approximately SE044974, by a barrier gate onto the moor. We parked here.

A track heads WSW onto the moor. We found that the simplest thing to do was to follow this until it crosses a small stream called Grovebeck Gill just after passing a fence leading off to the right. Cross the stream and leave the path to the right and follow the fence, leading just about north.

You will soon come to a very clear and quite spectacular earthwork ditch and bank. Follow the earthwork left (WNW) and where it peters out, continue straight on, along a projected line from the earthwork.

On the nearest crest almost exactly in front of you should immediately or soon see the outline of some small rocks. That is the circle.

Oh, and by the way, try not to jump out of your skin when the grouse shoot out of the undergrowth! I reckon I lost a good few minutes off my life….
Moth Posted by Moth
14th August 2003ce
Edited 14th August 2003ce

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