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

The Twelve Apostles of Ilkley Moor

Stone Circle


Try the approach from Hangingstones Road. If you're in a car, you can park by the Cow & Calf Rocks... if not, it's a bit of a hike from Ilkley Train Station, and the edge of the moor is very steep, but this route takes you through the amazing prehistoric landscape of Green Crag Slack and Backstone Beck.

Once on the moor, to the west of the Cow & Calf are the Hangingstones - an outcrop down by the Victorian Quarry. This flat outcrop features some of the strangest variations on cup and ring marks you'll find anywhere.... and an amazing view over Wharfedale.

From the Cow & Calf continue straight forward and up the ridge in front of you. This takes you onto Green Crag Slack where there are hundreds of Cup and Ring marked rocks. The Pancake Stone (that can be seen balancing over the edge of the moor), The Haystack Rock and the Planets all lie along this ridge. The path to the South West takes you to the Idol Stone, Green Crag and the Woofa Bank Cairnfield. To the South East, the path curves round to the Backstone Beck enclosure (a Neolithic & Bronze Age walled settlement area containing a couple of well designed rock carvings).

Continue along the path to the south, up onto the next ridge and bear right until the path joins the boardwalk up to the Twelve Apostles.

Here, break off the main path and follow the small path that leads from the eastern edge of the circle towards an obvious outcrop about 1000 yards away. Here you will find the Grubstones circle (a small circle likely to be the kerbstones of a robbed cairn) in the heather about 10/20 yards south of the gamekeeper's hut. Watch for the gamekeeper tho'... he's an arse. You'll spot him on his quadbike if he's around!

You can then head back to Ilkley by taking the path around the resevoir dyke, over Lanshaw Delves and Green Crag and back down to the Haystack Rock (look out for the Little Skirtfull of Stones Cairn and the Idol Stone on the way.

Andy H
Kozmik_Ken Posted by Kozmik_Ken
8th September 2003ce

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