Druids Temple is set amongst the rolling Hills of Ripon, outside of the village of Ilton, Masham.

This scaled version and tribute to one of the World's Greatest Wonders was constructed in the 1820s, relatively a modern piece of spectacular history within North Yorkshire.

This folly, inspired by Stonehenge, was commissioned by the late William Danby, who was the one-time Sheriff of Yorkshire.

During a depression William Danby paid local workers to build this Temple which is 100ft long and has standing stones of 10ft tall, they were apparently paid ‘A shilling a day’.

There is also a sacrificial Alter and a Tomb, which was reported to house a locally paid Hermit whom could live there for 7 years, speaking to no-one and allowing his beard and hair to grow for a regular wage. According to history, the longest standing Hermit lasted between 4.5-5 years.

There are also independent structures of stacked stones outside of the Temple, dotted around amongst the woodlands that surround this beautiful place.

William Danby had claimed the reason for creating this Temple was to produce work for the local people and bring revenue back into the town.

Mysterious History

Reports of mysterious happenings at The Temple, have mainly come from youths and students camping out there in the evening.

One group, in particular, became alarmed by basic ‘country noises’ however they did report to seeing shadows amongst the Temple Stones.

On another occasion, two friends were on a morning stroll and they witnessed a pig’s head placed upon the Alter within the Temple, this was then to strike rumors of Satanism and Devil worship being brought to the Folly.

However, there has never been any significant proof of this.


Our journey to the Temple began on a bright sunny winters day but ascending to the location amongst the hills of Rippon, painted a truly different picture. The scenery is breath-taking, to say the least, but as we came near to the location we were greeted with very misty, damp and cold surroundings. The clouds were low in the sky and rippling over the hills like dry ice.

On arrival there was a short and very muddy walk up to the Temple, suddenly, through the mists, you are greeted by this magnificent structure.

On standing there for a couple of minutes, (the kind where you are stood, and your mouth drops open), exploring became very natural.

The woodland surrounding this place gave it a very eerie feeling and wading through the damp thick mists just produced even more structures to this mysterious location.

On entering the temple, you can feel the energy this place emits, and all of a sudden, you become like a kid in a sweet shop, darting in and out of the stone structures, finding little places to hide in, and climbing upon the stones within. Towards the back of the Temple, there is a big stone Alter and then the cave. There is a picture of the cave within this article. This is where the Hermit would have resided within his time here.

Climbing on top of the cave gives you a truly magnificent sight from above, and looking down upon the entire Temple, somehow when you stand there, you instantly feel empowered by its mysterious beauty.
There is a large stacked stone structure beyond the Temple that commands above the area, this is the tallest structure there.

Into the woodland, at the side of the Temple, you come across different stone monuments that are dotted around, as you keep exploring you keep finding more. There is no particular pattern to them, they are just ‘there’ and very unique to one another.




My conclusion on this location as a clairsentient and empath is certain to me. In no way is this a place of negativity, quite the opposite in fact. Once you absorb the place and allow the atmospheric eerie mists to filter away from your feelings, it becomes a great advocate for immense positivity, a highly spiritual place, fizzing with energy, which leaves you enriched, empowered and at one with nature.

It is a perfect spot for all ages seeking the pleasures of history, families having picnics, bikers, hikers, and children darting around the stones on a summers day, exploring.

This is what all adds to its ambiance and calming nature.

We must also remember this place was built upon Hope, it was built to help depression, it was built to support the unemployed during a difficult time, to support local families and bring revenue back into the town and village.

In my opinion, this is where Satanism and devil worship fall flat, as this place truly overrides any negative invocation brought to the place in the past.

Druids Temple is a folly, dedication, and celebration to one of the Worlds Greatest Wonders, Stonehenge, and this is exactly how it should be celebrated in the future, and in the many centuries to come.

A truly inspiring place, not to be missed.


Clare Burrows - Spiritus Sanctus [Paranormal Urbex]

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