Ilkley Moor, Yorkshire, England (with Map & Photos)

Ilkley Moor is part of Rombalds Moor, the moorland between Ilkley and Keighley (pronounced Keethly) in West Yorkshire, England. The moor, rising 402 m (1,319 ft) above sea level, is well known as the inspiration for Yorkshire's "county anthem" on Ilkla Moor Baht' en (dialect for 'on Ilkley Moor hatless' ).

Ilkley Moor Yorkshire
Ilkley Moor Yorkshire


Ilkley Moor on a clear evening as daylight falls.

To the north, where the moor drops off steeply towards the village of Ben Rhydding, a satellite of Ilkley town, are two sandstone rock climbing areas: Rocky Valley and Ilkley Quarry.

Ilkley Quarry is the site of the famous "Cow and Calf", a large rock formation consisting of an outcrop and a boulder, also known as the Hangingstone Rocks. The rocks are made of millstone, a variety of sandstone, and are so named because one is large, with the smaller one sitting near it, like a cow and calf. Legend has it that there was once a 'bull' but that it was quarried out by stone during the 19th century boom of the spa town of which Ilkley was a part. However, none of the local historians have provided any evidence of the existence of the bull.

According to legend, the calf was separated from the cow when the giant Rombald was fleeing from an enemy, and trampled the rock as he bounded across the valley. It is said that the enemy was his wife angry at him. She dropped the stones held in her skirt to form the local rock formation The Skirtful of Stones.

In July 2006, a large fire in the moor left between a quarter and a half destroyed.

The BBC TV series Gunpowder (2017) used Ilkley Moor as a location.

Ilkley Moor Map