This is a lovely little ring of stones that is recorded in the scheduling information as a small stone circle. Dyer on the other hand thinks it may have been a ring cairn while Burl marks it under 'uncertain status including misidentified sites and hybrid rings such as complex ring cairns' in his Stone Circles of the British Isles - I don't know if he elaborates further in any of his other books. Whichever, it's in a fantastic position just beside the river which when I visited was in full flow making any idea of paddling across an impossibility but the walk via Yockenthwaite farm and the side of the river is pleasant enough. The first thing you notice going by this route is a large boulder just to the south east of the ring, the scheduling cites this as a possible outlier and mentions a couple of other questionable outlying stones further away to the west, the ring could possibly have had a pair of concentric circles as there seems to be the remains of an outer ring to the northwest.
What appears to be a teeny weeny stone circle at Yockenthwaite is in fact the retaining kerbstones of all that remains of a once-impressive cairn. What a great place to just be. Today I had the energy to paint, but not enough time so I only made a really rough sketch. The circle nestles at the bottom of the valley right next the river (just over the wall) and is quite lovely in a ruinous way.
10 August 2003
I can't believe how unknown this place is, despite being right on the Dales Way alongside the Wharfe. But I'm glad.
And the OS will have helped by seemingly having removed it from the 1:25,000 Explorer – my friend John is sure it was on the previous 1:25,000 of the area! (And I'm sure it's never been on the Landranger.)
The position is beautiful, and having previously visited, I have to say it has a wonderfully open and light atmosphere on a sunny day, but it's worth a visit in any weather!
Being a cairn circle, it's certainly not a stone circle in the 'true' sense, but if you want a picturesque but accessible and peaceful circle of stones to sit and chill at, look no further.
Because of showery weather and time constraints, we parked by the road on the opposite (west) side of the river and leapt and splashed across. But it is vastly preferable to park near Yockenthwaite farm, cross the Wharfe by the bridge and turn left (north west) along the Dales Way for 10 or 15 minutes or so….
Back in the car we watched the 'world' passing the circle by for a while, wondering what the walkers and cyclists would have thought had they known what they were passing….
The circle is easy to spot from the road, but only if you know roughly where to look and what you are looking for.
If you don't have time or inclination to walk from Yockenthwaite, drive west with the river on your right. Keep an eye on the wall separating the river from the fields on the far bank. The circle is right next to a place where the wall has (mysteriously?) tumbled….
Be prepared for damp toes unless you want to spend a goodly amount of time looking for a really dry crossing point!
This stone circle consists of an almost continuous ring of stones no more than 3ft tall, with a diameter of about 25ft. It's in a beautiful spot, on the flood plain of the river Wharfe.
Turn off the B6160 at Buckden (signposted Hubberholme and Hawes) and follow the road (carefully - it's a popular spot for walkers and mountain bikers and mainly single track) for about 4 miles. After the cattle grid, you'll see Yockenthwaite Farm over a tiny bridge - keep going along the road for less than half a mile then cross the river by whichever stepping stones look stable and not too slippy. The circle is just behind the dry stone wall on the far (north) side of the river and should be visible.