The Druid’s Temple at Masham was a folly built by the local landowner 200 years ago. It is an impressive stone circle. The walk is across pleasant countryside with good views across the area.
I approached walking in and around Masham a little bit differently to other areas. Apart from being known as being the brewing capital of Yorkshire I knew nothing about the town or the area. However it was great to be able to plan and discover a new area. It was all about exploration for me. Masham itself was a surprise. It has a very large square (with a voluntary contribution parking scheme) surrounded by grand old Georgian buildings. An excellent market town it still is with shops of great character tucked away up side alleys.
However I was here to walk and after a quick visit to the tourist information centre headed for Fearby (2 miles away) to seek out the Druids Temple. The Druid’s Temple is a folly created by William Danby in 1820.
The temple is set in a small wooded area, high above Pot Beck and was allegedly built simply to keep the local population busy and occupied. I am sure it did and the folly is still an intriguing place today. I reached the folly after climbing through fields but at one stage passing a strange gateway surrounded by a small but very high wall. The views improved as I climbed and is excellent all the way to the Temple. However the walk becomes more straggly (not a word but somehow appropriate) as it passes down to and alongside a small beck below Irton.
St Paul’s Church at Healey is an extremely presentable church and well worth a visit.
The walk to the Druid’s Temple is on non access land so you must stick to the public footpaths. In addition the path next to Sole Beck is difficult to follow. However if you stick close to the river and after crossing look for the stiles in the walls which signify the path.
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