Rocking Stone, Rishworth Moor, West Yorkshire

Legendary Rock:  OS Grid Reference – SD 990 150

Archaeology & History

Rishworth Moor Rocking Stone, 1775
Rishworth Moor Rocking Stone, 1775

The reverend John Watson (1775) first wrote about this place, describing it as, “a group of stones, laid, seemingly, one above another, to the height of several yards, and called the Rocking stone.”  Very little archaeological remains have been described hereabouts, save the odd flint scatters here and there.  Anything which might have been here in the past was likely destroyed when the M62 was built right next to the site.


The rocking stone was long ascribed in local tradition to be a  site used by the druids.  It was said that in bygone days the great boulder would rock, but this must have been a long time ago as even when Mr Watson described it, he told how “that quality is lost.”

Close by is the sometimes dried-up spring known as the Booth Dean Spa, which Watson thought might have been related to whatever ancient rituals occurred here.


  1. Watson, John, The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Halifax, T.Lowndes: London 1775.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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