Idol Rock, Adel, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Standing Stone (destroyed?):  OS Grid Reference – SE 282 402

Archaeology & History

Idol Rock, Adel (Simpson 1879)

Difficult to know what to think about this one.  It seems to have been described just once in the latter half of the 19th century by that real Bible-thumping nutcase, Henry Simpson (1879), who gave us the only known picture of the place.  Simpson said that it was, “the remains of supposed Idol Rock on the moor near Adel reformatory, under the Alwoodley Crags. About six foot high.”  It is believed to have been destroyed, but having not checked the region thoroughly, it could still be there somewhere (the grid reference cited here is an approximation). Does anyone know owt else about it?


  1. Simpson, Henry T., Archaeologia Adelensis, W.H. Allen: London 1879.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

About megalithix

Occultist, prehistorian and independent archaeological researcher, specializing in prehistoric rock art, Neolithic, Bronze Age & Iron Age sites, and the animistic cosmologies of pre-Christian & traditional cultures.
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2 Responses to Idol Rock, Adel, Leeds, West Yorkshire

  1. It might well be still there; there is an incredible amount of rock and boulders outcropping in that wood. The local geology is millstone grit of a not particularly good variety, hence it hasn’t been quarried overly much, at least not in those areas. The mad vicar might well have simply seen an earthfast boulder of unusual form; there is easily enough rock knocking about for this to be the case.

    Interestingly, the quality of the local millstone grit rocks does vary quite a lot. At SE280408 on Adel golf course, there is a small quarry, long disused, where a couple of half-finished large millstones can still be seen lying on the ground. That the quarrymen had to come right out here demonstrates just how varied the rock is around here.

  2. Lucas Davey says:

    There is a carving of Cocidius in the rock field (A grove of beech trees) near the seven arches aqueduct.

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