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Stone Circle

<b>Appletreewick</b>Posted by Kozmik_KenImage © Andy H
Also known as:
  • Fancarl Top Circle

Nearest Town:Skipton (13km SSW)
OS Ref (GB):   SE064631 / Sheet: 99
Latitude:54° 3' 48.67" N
Longitude:   1° 54' 7.94" W

Added by IronMan

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The TMA Eds have received an email from Miles Johnson, the Countryside Archaeological Adviser for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

He wishes to remind people that the circle at Fancarl Top is on private land not covered by the CRoW open access Act. The landowner contacted him because people trespassing to get to the circle were damaging the surrounding drystone walls. The landowner was also unhappy that the stones had been 'inappropriately decorated' by people accessing the field without asking for his permission.

Although Mr Johnson wished us to remove the circle from the website, we would respectfully suggest that it would be better left on here with this note attached, in order that anyone using TMA to identify visitable sites will then know and understand the landowner's wishes (unfortunately this will not influence the trespassing of people who do not use this website).

Posted by TMA Ed
13th June 2006ce

Visited this site yesterday (19/12/04). Though small the location of this five stone circle is incredible. We got there at around 9am as the Sun was rising in a clear blue sky behind Simon's Seat. Weather was cold, frost on the ground and snow on the hill tops.

The circle appears to be based around one natural boulder. At the particular time of day the shadow cast by this stone bisected the circle and pointed in the direction of the snow covered Whernhside away in the distance.

As other people have correctly stated the hillside is strewn with large stones. There does appear to be some evidence for an outer circle. One large flat 7 foot high stone with a flat base now lays on the ground directly in line with the largest stone in the circle. Other largish stones are also found if you pace the same circumfrence, the weathered striations down the sides suggested that they once stood upright.

Further down the hill, on the way back to the Grimdale Reservoir entrance we found a solitary standing stone, lined up with a boulder.

A great site, well worth a visit.
Posted by The Captain
20th December 2004ce

A ring of 6 stones measuring about 10 metres in diameter.
Strange how people's perceptions of a site can be so different, everybody else who has visited this site seems to have loved it. Maybe it was because it was getting dark and cold, maybe it was having to jump the wall and the feeling of trespassing or maybe it was the decayed whole sheep remains and bits of bones, but I only stayed long enough for a quick look round and a few photo's. I do have to agree about the largest stone though, it looks like a natural boulder that is partly covered with grass to the south and with a flat front facing into the circle, almost like it was addressing it - could explain the orientation of the site. I found it interesting that the fine views to the south that can be seen from the road are just about hidden at the circle with only the tops of the distant hills still in sight - was this circle meant to be hidden from those approaching from (or living in) the south?
Chris Collyer Posted by Chris Collyer
7th November 2003ce

A small circle of six stones, not tear-jerkingly cute in a Doll Tor way, and not dramatic or breathtaking either, it's just there, comfortable with itself and it's rather nice. Cracking views of dales all around, this little survivor is absolutely worth a peep. When we saw it there were patches of blue dye all over them, all at a certain height. Immediately I thought 'bloody graffiti vandal bastard-types!' but then I realised that the sheep, sprayed with blue identification dyes cuddled up against the stones as they sought shelter from the wind, which fortunately wasn't howling the day we went.

A gratifying short walk from the car, this is highly suitable for people who find walking either difficult or rather tedious.
Jane Posted by Jane
17th September 2003ce
Edited 29th September 2003ce

I have to agree with Moth......while up at the circle Fitz and me had the same kinda thought...that the biggest stone in the circle could be naturally sited stubob Posted by stubob
8th September 2003ce
Edited 2nd December 2006ce

10 August 2003
Got here at the fourth attempt in about 2 years, having thrashed about within a few yards of the damn thing on every single previous occasion….

Well worth all the trouble it was though! A distinct circle of stones including one pretty big boulder, which looks as if it's possibly in the position where it was found by the ancients, with the other stones placed to make a circle….

This is the 'inner' circle of what is allegedly 2 concentric rings.

The outer ring, however, is so irregular and ruined that I don't think I'd have suspected it if I hadn't known in advance – especially as the whole area is littered with 'random rocks'. John and I spent some time pacing out distances to surrounding rocks and to be honest, remain slightly sceptical.

Ironically, the site did remind me very faintly of the double concentric ring I'd visited the day before, the Druid's Circle of Ulverston. This had more to do with its size and atmosphere than the possibility of a double circle though.

Well, who cares? Single ring or double, the setting overlooking 3 dales is beautifully remote and infinitely calming. It won't be long until I'm back now I know where it is!
Moth Posted by Moth
14th August 2003ce
Edited 14th August 2003ce

Came here in February 2002 following a footnote from Aubrey Burl and a bad printout of an OS map. Couldn't work out where the circle was so headed for the top of the biggest hill, demolishing and re-building a wobbly drystone wall in the process. There are so many big stones, weird dips and sheep skulls in the fields around it that it took a while to get there, but what a cool little circle it is. It feels really peaceful and a place to spend some time despite icy cold, bones everywhere and truckers steaming past on the road nearby. Even under a grey sky the stones were glowing. Posted by linz23
19th May 2002ce
Edited 24th July 2003ce

We parked up beside the B6265 Pateley Bridge road and entered the moor through a gate beside the quarry.
A short traipse revealed a moor covered in stone debris. Following Ironman's instructions we walked along the brow and there it was.
Appletreewick is a lovely little circle.
In comparison to the lakeland circles, which have the vibe of a neolithic minster, Appletreewick has the vibe of a chapel serving a small community.
Once you've taken in the circle check the view and you know why it is sited there. It is on a hillside at the convergence of three dales. Ahead of you is Wharfedale, to your right is the valley of the River Dibb and to your left the valley of the Barben Beck.
A mile or so to the south east there is a large area of cup marked rocks, I did not have time, (or should I say my kids would not come with me and I couldn't leave them) to investigate them. I shall definitely return to this area.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
8th April 2002ce

A lovely little site. This site hardly gets mentioned, but don't let that put you off. The stones and setting are gorgeous, I led here for 3/4 hour, on this solo trek, without worrying once about the bitter cold. These stones have great character. The view to the west is fantastic, on this day the tops were covered in snow, and stormy clouds gathered on the high ground over Malham. I'd been feeling depressed all week, pressures of work and other niggly little problems, this place just sorted me right out. I got the feeling that this site doesn't get much attention, I'd love to know how long it is since the last person visited before me.

If you do intend to come here make sure you look at the images on TMA! I came with a map, and no idea what the site looked like. I think I must have found about six other suspect stones and sites before arriving at the correct one! Don't get distracted by the hundreds of boulders lying temptingly all over the area, carry on, this isn't a completely ruined circle, it is a recognisable one. The circle is on the brow of the hill - remember that!

One of the bigger stones is covered in cup marks, and if you check around the area a few of the stray stones have similar markings.
IronMan Posted by IronMan
4th March 2002ce


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This site is approx 1 miles EES of Appletreewick

"A major site (rock art) is at Skyreholme, where 33 gritstone boulders and other earthfasts have simple cups, some grooves, and a few rings. Some cups are linked by grooves. The rocks lie at c.350m OD."

British Prehistoric Rock Art
Stan Beckensall
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
8th April 2002ce