Cup-and-Ring Stone: OS Grid Reference – SE 11288 51542
In the middle of the moors, with no footpaths close by. Unless you’re a rock-art freak I guess there aint gonna be too many people searching for it! From the Ilkley-to-Langbar road, take the track (Parks Lane) onto the moor where the road bends right. Follow it up for about a mile (though it doesn’t seem that far) and where the cup-marked stone at the edge of the wall where the spring appears (Middleton Moor carving 483), walk west (left) into the heather for a coupla hundred yards below Foldshaw Ridge. Look around!
Archaeology & History
This is one of a small cluster of carvings Richard Stroud found on a few average-sized stones prettty close to each other in April 2005 — and one which the West Yorkshire Archaeology Service told him couldn’t be there cos the region had already been surveyed. Hmmm…
Well, my first impression of this when I saw it was a absolute thumbs-up! Simple to look at, I know – but a bloody good little carving. It’s primary characteristic is that most of the ten or eleven cups occur on the vertical and near-vertical face, which aint too common. In traditional societies (though not all) where carvings occur on vertical faces, they’re deemed to be ‘male’ in nature (those on rounded smooth surfaces, female). The carving is well worth checking out — especially as there’s probably more to be found up here, hiding beneath ages of peat and heather.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian