Busky Dike Druidical Altar, Fewston, North Yorkshire

Legendary Rocks (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 187 545

Archaeology & History

The original position and nature of this site was difficult to ascertain and left us wondering whether the place was once a monolith, stone circle or legendary rock outcrop, as seemed that there were no remains left of the place.  Aswell as that, the only reference we had that describing this place is from William Grainge’s History of Knaresborough (1871), where he wrote:

“At Busky Dike, a place between Cragg Hall and Fewston, according to the report of tradition, there once existed a Druidical altar; and that same venerable authority declares that the same place is the haunt of a Bharguest; and many of the country people yet tremble as they pass that place in the dark, for fear they should meet that strange and terrible beast.”

The latter remark would indicate that something decidely pre-christian was once of renown here.  But it seems that an old rock outcrop was the place in question here, found in the now wooded area on the south side of the Busky Dike Road, just northwest a half-mile outside of Fewston itself.  It would be good to hear more about this place…if anyone knows owt…


  1. Grainge, William, The History of Harrogate and the Forest of Knaresborough, 1871.
  2. Grainge, William, The History and Topography of Little Timble, Great Timble and the Hamlet of Snowden, William Walker: Otley 1895.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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2 thoughts on “Busky Dike Druidical Altar, Fewston, North Yorkshire”

  1. I live here and there are no rocky outcrops south of the road that I have seen. There is a platform further along the road which would have had good views across the valley. There is also an outcrop north of the road but these are closer to Crag Hall than Fewston.

    1. Hi Tim – Thanks for this. Is there anywhere hereby which you think may be the most likely spot that Mr Grainge wrote about? He was a very good historian, as you probably know, and so his citation of folklore or ‘tradition’ as he called this site, probably has some basis of truth in it somewhere along the line. Any input regarding the potential location of this site would be very welcome. atb – Paul

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