Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Twelve Apostles stone circle, Burley Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Ilkley, Bradford

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Latitude: 53.9016 / 53°54'5"N

Longitude: -1.8095 / 1°48'34"W

OS Eastings: 412612.438892

OS Northings: 445065.928685

OS Grid: SE126450

Mapcode National: GBR HRTB.14

Mapcode Global: WHC8W.56L9

Entry Name: Twelve Apostles stone circle, Burley Moor

Scheduled Date: 10 December 1930

Last Amended: 13 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011763

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25313

County: Bradford

Civil Parish: Ilkley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Menston St John the Divine

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes 12 irregularly spaced stones arranged in an approximate
circle, and surrounded by an indistinct earthen bank. All but one of the
stones are now upright. One of these is propped up rather than earthfast, and
the recumbent stone has obviously been similarly propped in the recent past.
Few, if any, of the stones are in their original positions. Two stones have
been snapped, one of these having been cemented back together. The bank is
very indistinct, reaching a maximum height of 0.4m, and is c.3m in width. The
diameter including the bank is 22m.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Rombalds Moor is an eastern outlier of the main Pennine range lying between
the valleys of the Wharfe and the Aire. The bulk of this area of 90 sq km of
rough moorland lies over 200m above sea level. The moor is particularly rich
in remains of prehistoric activity. The most numerous relics are the rock
carvings which can be found on many of the boulders and outcrops scattered
across the moor. Burial monuments stone circles and a range of enclosed
settlements are also known.
Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of
upright or recumbent stones. The circle of stones may be surrounded by
earthwork features such as enclosing banks and ditches. Single upright stones
may be found within the circle or outside it. Burial cairns may also be found
close to and, on occasion, within the circle. Stone circles are found
throughout England, particularly in upland areas. Where excavated they have
been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age (c.2400-
1000 BC). We do not fully understand the uses for the which these monuments
were originally constructed but it is clear that they had considerable ritual
importance for the societies that used them. In many instances excavation has
indicated that they provided a focus for burials and the rituals that
accompanied interment of the dead. Some stone circles appear to have had a
calendrical function, helping mark the passage of time and seasons, this being
indicated by careful alignment of stones to mark important solar or lunar
events such as sunrise or sunset at midwinter or midsummer. Of the 250 or so
stone circles identified in England, over 100 are examples of small stone
circles. These comprise a regular or irregular ring of between 7 and 16 stones
with a diameter of between 4 and 20 metres. As a rare monument type which
provides an important insight into prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving
examples are considered worthy of protection.

Although much damaged this stone circle remains identifiable and will retain
evidence of its original location and form. A substantial proportion of the
below ground archaeology will also still survive intact.

Source: Historic England


Marriott, J, Twelve Apostles (PRN 37), (1991)

Source: Historic England

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