January 1, 2011

0 The Druids' Temple, or William Danby's Folly

 I'd heard about some standing stones located not too far from where we live, so we decided to go check them out.   As there aren't many megaliths in the Dales and this one is far too complete, I searched it on Google- I'm excited to report that we've seen our first folly!  I actually find the idea of follies hilarious, particularly the 18th-19th century trend of building "ruins".  This particular creation was conjured up by William Danby, owner of nearby Swinton Hall.  After his massive reconstruction of the home ended he commissioned this mini-Stonehenge "Druids' Temple" in order to continue employment of the local workers.   The area is now controlled by the Forestry Commission, and there's both public and borough council disagreement as to how to best manage the folly.

This is a cairn-like cave in the back area of the henge- it's got stones in a circle around a fire pit.   Notice the adorable pooch in the UGA coat, lower left.  She's more than happy to be your tour guide!!

A better view of the "sacrificial slab" in front of the cave, also with stone seats- Paul says it more resembles a dinner table.   Young virgin with a side of steamed carrots, anyone?

Overview of the main henge area, the cairn-like cave is to the lower left.

It's open to visitors, although camping and pagan rituals are discouraged.

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