OS Map Ref NZ850046

OS Maps – Landranger 94 (Whitby & Esk Dale)

Explorer OL27 (North York Moors – Eastern Area)

Just east of the village of Grosmont located on a limestone pavement at the crest of Sleights Moor are the High Bridestones, these are not to be confused with the better known High and Low Bridestones which are a natural rock formation situated not to far away in another part of the North Yorkshire Moors.

At first glance this apparently random collection of stones is a little confusing with many now having fallen over and scattered or missing it makes for a bit of a sad site, adding to this is with what seems to be a tradition (how old a tradition is and for what purpose it have yet to discover) of people jamming coins into the cracks and crevices of the upright stone which is causing additional damage to the stone.

High Bridestones, Sleights Moor (North Yorkshire Moors) in a larger map

It is thought that these stones are in fact the remains of two ‘four-poster’ style stone circles. This is where the circle itself consists of four upright stones much like a four poster bed. This style of stone circle is most commonly found in Scotland and believed to have originated in Aberdeenshire, though there are examples found in England mainly Northumbria and Cumbria.

There is very little information on these stones and I am currently unaware of any serious survey having been carried out on them. Even folklore seems a little scant though I did read a short reference to a local legend that the stones were in fact what remains of a petrified bridal party lost in the mists that often hang over the moors. If anyone has further stories or information I would love to here as despite the poor state of these stones there is a stark beauty to them as they stand vigil on the bleak moorland landscape.

The stones are easily accessible being situated only yards from the road and clearly visible. I even had an audience whether local farmers or park rangers I’m not sure but a range rover with two occupants intently monitored me sapping away for a good 10 minutes before probably bored that I wasn’t up to mischief drove off across the moor. I figured if they had something to say they’d come over and tell me.

 

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