Yorkshire Guide - main picture
My site, my views. Unofficial, unfunded and occasionally unorthodox. Enjoy!

The Druids' Temple at Ilton

Breary Bank, Colsterdale, near Masham

Leeds Pals memorial The Druid's Temple at Ilton is probably one of the least known monuments in Yorkshire. That might well be because it's on private land and is pretty hard to find if you don't know it's there. So let's start with some directions: from Ilton take the road going due North, then, turn left down the long straight lane (Knowles Lane)  in the middle of the wood and park at the end. Don't look out for signposts, because there aren't any. The temple is a couple of hundred yards into the wood.

The temple is thought to have been built around 1820, which makes it contemporaneous with many other follies scattered around Yorkshire. The purpose being to provide wages for labourers as well as to provide a talking point and a landscape feature.  There is one large circle of stones, with altar like tables within and even a cave in which the squire is said to have tried to get a hermit to live in. Might be true, might not.

Anyway, it's a real curiousity and a great place for a picnic, but please don't be fooled by the tents in the picture, camping is most definitely not allowed. And don't visit on a solstice, as you may well find the place is full of the great unwashed.

The builder was the admirable Squire Danby of Swinton Hall, the huge stately home which still dominates the area to this day. Nowadays Swinton Hall is a magnificent luxury hotel, hosting Rosemary Schrager's cookery school, one of the best regarded  in the country. They also do a wide range of other stuff like horse racing weekends, spa breaks, and garden lunches, shame the grounds aren't open to the general public though.

 view along Brimham rocks,


Comments (5)
Whom can I contact for permission to use these photos for a post about Druid's Temple for our blog?
posted by N. Wisser, Clonehenge blog 24/01/2009 11:43:54
Have been, well worth a visit, even though some people left it like a tip when I went. No excuse for littering !
posted by clive lorimer 31/03/2011 20:55:08
who is the great unwashed
posted by hello 05/04/2011 01:12:54
I love this place and I was one of the great unwashed, I seem to remember the surrounding fields were of mycological interest
posted by Buzzard 27/07/2011 22:36:02
A great place for a "strange" day out and the views from the far side of the forrest are amazing!
posted by Matt Wells 29/10/2011 19:07:46
  5 people have added comments Click here to add yours