Young Idol Stone, Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13264 45943

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.158 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.323 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

The Young Idol Stone (bottom) and its parental Idol Stone above
The Young Idol Stone (bottom) and its parental Idol Stone above

Take the directions to reach the Haystack Rock, then head onto the moor following the southeast footpath for a few hundred yards, towards where the moor slopes uphill.  20-30 yards before the uphill slope, a yard to the right of the path, a coupla yards below the well-known Idol Stone carving – you’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

Described simply as a “small, rounded, smooth grit rock,” this long-tooth-shaped stone has just two cup-markings on its upper face: one on the more southern tip, and the second smaller cup several inches below it – as shown on the photo.  The adjacent carving seen at the top of the photo is the parent guardian, Idol Stone!  If you visit this, or any adjacent carvings here, please remember that all along this moorland plain are numerous unexcavated prehistoric tombs. You’re effectively stood at the edge of, or within, a huge prehistoric cemetery.


  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Hedges, John, The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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