Yockenthwaite small stone circle


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008772

Date first listed: 17-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Aug-1994


Ordnance survey map of Yockenthwaite small stone circle
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Craven (District Authority)

Parish: Buckden


National Grid Reference: SD 89957 79376


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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 and avenues of stones radiating out from the circle occur at some sites. Burial cairns may also be found close to and on occasion within the circle. Stone circles are found throughout England although they are concentrated in western areas, with particular clusters in upland areas such as Bodmin and Dartmoor in the south-west and the Lake District and the rest of Cumbria in the north-west. This distribution may be more a reflection of present survival rather than an original pattern. Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age (c.2400-1000 BC). It is clear that they were carefully designed and laid out, frequently exhibiting very regularly spaced stones, the heights of which also appear to have been of some importance. We do not fully understand the uses for 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 circles appear to have had a calendrical function, helping mark the passage of time and seasons, this being indicated by the careful alignment of stones to mark important solar or lunar events such as sunrise or sunset at midsummer or midwinter. At other sites the spacing of individual circles throughout the landscape has led to a suggestion that each one provided some form of tribal gathering point for a specific social group. A small stone circle comprises a regular or irregular ring of between 7 and 16 stones with a diameter of between 4 and 20 metres. They are widespread throughout England although clusters are found on Dartmoor, the North Yorkshire Moors, in the Peak District and in the uplands of Cumbria and Northumberland. Of the 250 or so stone circles identified in England, over 100 are examples of small stone circles. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into prehistoric ritual activity, all surviving examples are worthy of preservation.

The Yockenthwaite stone circle is a very fine and well preserved example of a small stone circle. The majority of its stones survive in situ with no evidence of disturbance.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The stone circle at Yockenthwaite in Langstrothdale survives in an excellent state of preservation. It is set on a slight bank alongside the River Wharfe and at the foot of the steep slopes of Yockenthwaite Moor and is visible from a wide expanse of the adjacent fellside. The circle of limestone boulders is set on a slight bank, 1.8m wide, itself containing stones. Within the circle is a slight bowl shaped depression. Internally the circle has a diameter of 7.1m by 6.5m, making it very close to being a true circle. There are 24 boulders, four of which form an outer kerb in the north west quadrant. Three other stones seem to have fallen and may originally have been part of the outer kerb. Two small gaps occur, one in the north east quadrant and one in the south east quadrant which are likely to have accommodated three or four more stones. The stones stand to an approximate height of 0.4m, the notable exception being a very large boulder in the south west quadrant with dimensions of 1.16m by 0.75m by 0.4m. Beyond the circle itself is a possible outlier stone 6.5m from the perimeter to the south east. To the west, and roughly in line, are two more similar boulders, the first about 62m from the outlier and the second about 107m from it. These are not included in the scheduling as they have yet to be confirmed to be outliers of the stone circle.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 24467

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Raistrick, A , 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in The Bronze Age in West Yorkshire, , Vol. 29, (1929), 355-356
Raistrick, A , 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in The Bronze Age in West Yorkshire, , Vol. 29, (1929), 355-356
Raistrick, A , 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in The Bronze Age in West Yorkshire, , Vol. 29, (1929), 354
Fairless, K J, Field Monument Warden Report, (1989)

End of official listing