Grubstones stone circle


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011761

Date first listed: 17-Oct-1930

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Dec-1994


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

District: Bradford (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Burley

National Grid Reference: SE 13628 44722

Reasons for Designation

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 disturbed, this stone circle retains most of its structure and will retain significant information on its original form and date.


The monument includes a subcircular rubble bank surrounding a ring of upright stones. The bank is c.2m wide and 0.3m high, and is c.14m in total diameter. The upright stones are typically 0.6m high and fairly closely spaced. The area enclosed by these orthostats is uneven, and has a hollow close to the centre. This may be the result of an excavation reported to have taken place in 1846, during which a cremation and a flint spearhead are said to have been found under three large stones at the centre of the circle. There is a small sunken structure of uncertain function on the north west side of the circle just outside the rubble bank. The bank is very low at this point and is lacking in orthostats. These were probably robbed during the construction of the sunken structure. This occurred in the relatively recent past. The stone walling of the sunken structure which is immediately adjacent to the rubble bank is included in the scheduling as this is essential for the support of the monument; the remainder of the structure is not included.

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: 25291

Legacy System: RSM


Grubstones Stone Circle, Bastow, M, AM 107, (1989)
Marriott, J, Grubstones Stone Circle (PRN 84), (1987)
Waight EC, Ordnance Survey Card SE 14 SW3, (1965)

End of official listing