Well, spring has finally sprung here, and Retropoodles took ourselves away for an afternoon down to Druids Temple at Ilton in North Yorkshire.
A wonderful old folly created in 1820 by local eccentric squire William Danby (1752-1832) (based on an original plan by P.T. Runton Esq.)
William Danby was tutored at Eton college, went to Cambridge and was made High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1784.
He created the temple to generate work for the local population who were undergoing a time of agricultural depression and high unemployment, he offered to pay 1 shilling a day, and there a rumours that the job was strung out for a long while!
The immense size of some of the rocks must have puzzled some of them to wonder why to go to such an extent for no reason other than to give them work!
William was a bit of a philosopher, writing such works as “Travelling Thoughts” and “Thoughts on Various Subjects” A bit of a dreamer or a romantic I wonder?
Especially when he offered to feed and pay a “Hermit” to live there for a seven year contract!
Apparently one such man gave up after 4 Years with the Pennine weather beating him down, and the constraints of having to grow his hair and beard long as part
of the agreement, as well as being prohibited to talk to anyone! It’s said that he gradually went mad.
The temple was meant to be a replica of Stonehenge, though on a much smaller scale.
It consists of a stone circle, including a cave and altar, lots of wonderful stone stacks etc. surround the area if you have a walk around the woodland.
It’s quite magical even though there’s no real History to it, but with outstanding vistas looking down to Leighton reservoir it’s really quite inspiring!
Although built on private land, he did want the public to visit, but don’t forget insect repellent on a warm day!
My Sister and I used to ride up there on horseback Years ago, and learned our lesson!
Dark and mysterious, the stone circle will draw you in with a feeling of uncertainty, not being able to see past the pillars and into the cave at first!
The poodles adore it, stones puddles and woodland to explore! Playing hide and seek is the best!
I donned a spring outfit, with fresh yellows turquoise and spring greens, A hand painted 50’s skirt from Mexico, featuring wonderful striking roses.
These skirts were made on large circular boards that rotated for the artist to apply their design, and sold to tourists who visited towns on the Mexican /USA borders.
An original 1950’s yellow grosgrain jacket with nipped in waist kept me warm, also a yellow straw hat, which is conical in shape, also a favourite style in the 50’s
along with my “Green Dahlia” blouse from Freddie’s of Pinewood. http://www.freddiesofpinewood.co.uk/
It felt great to get out of the woolies even if it was only warm enough in direst sunlight!
Scarves are great for this time of Year, and I purchased this one for a pound at a vintage fair, great for keeping the chill away!
I took my trusty green “Judy” shoes along for the trip, but also tried out my yellow “Dorothy” although it was a tad muddy, if I’m honest!
Both from Rocket Orignals. http://www.rocketoriginals.co.uk/
I love the bright bold colours of these funky brooches from Luxulite, I’m never without a brooch! https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Luxulite
It’s the details that make an outfit, I love wearing
gloves as with having 5 poodles to groom, my nails get a bit tatty!
William also built his home in the style of a castle at Nearby Swinton. After he died the whole estate was bought by wool magnate Samuel Cunliffe Lister,
the parklands and castle still belong to the same family although the castle is now a hotel (Swinton Park Hotel)
They can arrange weddings at the hotel or Druids Temple itself, which I think would be wonderful!
I end with the fact that no druids have ever been seen there!