Yarmer Head, Nidd, North Yorkshire

Standing Stone (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 299 612

Also Known as:

  1. Temple Yarmer

Archaeology & History

It was the legendary Harry Speight who described this in his monumental historico-topographical exploration of the Nidd valley in the 1890s.  Nothing else, it seems, has been said of the place, though something of considerable archaeological importance was once here.  Not only does he tell of the previous existence of “a large circular enclosure…the outer ditch having a circumference of nearly 1000 yards” at Yarmer Head, but,

“In the hollow on the east side of this hill was formerly a large natural marsh or lakelet, near which remains the base of an immense menhir or standing monolith, erected doubtless in heathen days to commemorate a great victory, or perhaps a treaty.”

The stone is not shown on the early OS-maps (although they did miss quite a lot of sites), and whatever its reason for being here might never be known as all traces of this giant monolith appears (yet again) to have vanished. There is an ancient boundary line immediately below the hill, on its eastern side, so perhaps the stone was an ancient marker along this.  Do any local folk round Nidd know owt more about this once important megalithic site?


  1. Speight, Harry, Nidderdale and the Garden of the Nidd, Elliot Stock: London 1894.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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