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Twelve Apostles Standing Stones

Situated 1264 feet above sea level, the Twelve Apostles Standing Stones (once known as the Druids Chair and the Druidical Dial Circle) is the second highest ancient monument on Rombald’s Moor and probably dates from 3500-4000 years. The stones stand close to the crossing of two prehistoric paths probably used for trans Pennine trading and amidst what has been described as an ‘extensive ancient ceremonial landscape’. Those earlier travelers probably took advantage of Black Beck Well which is position about 200 yards from the Twelve Apostles.

Arthur Raistrick (1896-1991), a local archaeologist visited the site in 1929 and speculated that the circle could have originally had 20 stones with a single stone in the centre.

As with some other stone circles, there are reports of UFO or Earth Light type activity. One sighting took place in 1976. Three members of the Royal Observer Corps saw a white silent sphere hovering low over the stone circle whilst they were out on exercises. It remained motionless, then suddenly shot straight up into the sky eventually vanishing. Two witnesses saw a similar light in July 1990. They were at the Backstone circle one night and saw a white ball of light on the horizon about a mile or so away. It approached the Twelve Apostles from the west and when it reached the stones it became stationery. It then made a series of strange manoeuvres, backtracking at high speed, doing a 180° turn, returning to the circle before heading off to west where it had originally come from, apparently pursued by an Royal Air Force fighter which was seen heading in the direction which the light had taken.

Please show respect when visiting any ancient site. The Twelve Apostles and the other ancient sites of Rombald’s and Ilkley Moor have suffered much abuse at the hands of thoughtless vandals. In the past these stones have been toppled, decorated with graffiti one of the stones has been reported as having a large section broken off the top of it. Please help to protect and preserve these sites.

Image Copyright: 
Edward Bamforth

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