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Ilton Druids Temple

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In 1820, the folly that has now come to be known as the “Druid’s Temple” was commissioned by the then-sheriff of Yorkshire, William Danby. He claimed that he created the stone temple in order to produce work for the local population of the nearby town of Ilton, many of whom were paid one shilling (approximately five pence nowadays) a day.

Danby also offered a regular salary to a person who would live at the temple as a hermit for seven years; however, the longest a person has stayed at the temple was reportedly just over five years.


Much of the Druid’s Temple’s architecture and aesthetics were influenced by the popular Stonehenge. The same size stones were used, and were placed in order to create a room that measures around 30 metres by 15 metres, with some of the stones being over 3 metres tall. The temple also features a central sacrificial stone altar, which had been placed according to the positions of similar stones at other similar historical temples scattered around the country. The temple also features pillars of flat stacked stones, much like similar ones seen at the classic Stonehenge.


It has been reported numerous times that students have been found to have stayed at the stone circle overnight. One group of such students was found early one morning walking away from the site cold, wet, and frightened. A passer-by offered them a lift to Leeds and during the journey the students related to him that they were camping at the temple until shadows, owls hooting, and other “country noises” had caused them to flee. Another time, two friends on a morning stroll were walking past the temple and found a pig’s head placed on the altar, which had not been there the day before. This sparked the rumour that devil worship regularly took place at the stones, but there has not yet been solid proof of such activity.



Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Bar Lane, Roecliffe, Boroughbridge
North Yorkshire, England, YO51 9LS
+44 (0)1423 322 683

Contact Details

  • Address: Knowle Lane, Ripon, North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom, HG4 4JZ
  • GPS: 54.2073038,-1.7224456999999802
  • Part of UK: England
  • Sat Nav Postcode: HG4 4JZ
  • Entrance Fees: Free Access
  • Disabled Access: Poor
  • Visibility from Road: None
  • Image Credits: Paul Vincent

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