Weecher Stone Circle, Faweather, Baildon, West Yorkshire

Stone Circle (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 1372 4196

Getting Here

Although destroyed, to those who wanna check the locale, from Bingley take the Eldwick road and keep going all the way up to Dick Hudson’s public house, right on the edge of the moor.  From here, go left (east) on the road for less than a mile until you reach the reservoir/lake on your right.  Take the dirt-track down here for 100 yards and stop!  It was somewhere here!

Archaeology & History

I first went looking for this site when I was a kid (about 13 years old), but soon discovered that it had been destroyed.  The first person to write about it was lucky enough to see it when it was still there.  Harry Speight came here around 1890 and described,

“descending (from Pennythorn Hill) towards Faweather we enter (by permission) a field at Birch Close Farm, and here we find evidence of an extensive stone circle, some of the large unhewn stones having been built into an adjoining wall. In the next field is a rock sculpture with…cup and ring marks.”

This cup-marked stone still exists at Faweather, though has now been enclosed by a garden. The occupiers are quite friendly and are willing to let you look at the stone if you ask kindly.  Anyway…..by the time Butler Wood wrote about the place in 1905, he was telling that “the finest stone circle in the Rombald’s Moor area was demolished some years ago.”

The local historian W.E. Preston, marking an old map of the region with an “X,” wrote:

“NOTE! The circle was destroyed here during construction of the Baildon Waterworks, 1892. Diameter 25 yards. It consisted of a wall of rubble with upright stones at frequent intervals.”

Subsequent descriptions of the site in 1905, 1929 and 1946, cited Weecher to be 27 yards across.  My last search for any remains of this circle was in 1990 when I explored every wall in the region, hoping to find one or two of the old uprights, but they had all gone. Sadly, there appear to be no drawings or illustrations of the site either…

Folklore

This stone circle was one of at least four circles that played a part in one of the most impressive leys I have seen! Starting at the circle in Hirst Woods, Saltaire, the alignment goes north, crossing the Brackenhall circle, a few other Bronze Age sites, across the site of Weecher, and finally terminates at the Great Skirtful giant tomb a short distance north of here.

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, The Old Stones of Elmet, Capall Bann: Milverton 2001.
  2. Cowling, E.T., Rombald’s Way, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  3. Gray, Johnnie, Through Airedale from Goole to Malham, Walker & Laycock: Leeds 1891.
  4. Raistrick, Arthur, ‘The Bronze Age in West Yorkshire,’ in YAJ 1929.
  5. Wood, Butler, ‘Prehistoric Antiquities of the Bradford District,’ in Bradford Antiquary, 2, 1905.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.873665, -1.792814 Weecher stone circle

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