Isle of Albion
Four-poster monument on the edge of the moors.
Photographed: Friday 15th July 2005
Other Names: Bordley Circle
Site rating:  

Druid's Altar is a four-poster type monument, described on OS maps as a burial chamber, but regarded by experts such as Aubrey Burl as a stone circle. It consists of four white limestone stones sitting atop a circular mound. The stones are up to a metre high, forming points on a circle measuring about 5 metres in diameter. Three of the stones remain standing, and one is recumbent.

The approach to this circle is a little torturous. At the start of the lane, you run the risk of encountering caravans being towed in the opposite direction. The lane is narrow, steep, and features few passing places. Further up, it deteriorates in places into little more than a bendy track. Nevertheless, this adds to the sense of adventure, which is all part of the pleasure when seeking out lesser-known sites such as Druid's Altar.

The surrounding landscape is beautiful. To your left, not long before you reach the metal gate, a cave can be seen gaping out from an escarpment, brooding darkly over the moors like the mouth of some fell creature. Sadly, a farmhouse is close by, and I had the impression that explorers wouldn't be very welcome.

The circle itself has been described as underwhelming, but it far exceeded my modest expectations. The location adds much to the ambience. The site is exposed, with striking views out over the bleak moors. On a warm summer's day, this makes Druid's Altar a tranquil and refreshing spot, wonderfully isolated and remote. I can imagine, however, that the experience would be a little different in poor weather. On a sunny day though, I'd highly recommend making the effort to find this little gem. Ideally, if you have the time, park up some distance away and make the effort to approach the site on foot. The scenery is wonderful and the walk would be highly enjoyable.