Cup-Marked Stone: OS Grid Reference – SE 17987 51162
Also Known as:
- Coped Stone
Follow the same directions as to reach the Tree of Life Stone carving. From here walk 7 or 8 yards east. You can’t miss it!
Archaeology & History
About 20 feet away from the more renowned Tree of Life Stone — and seemingly linked to it by a small stretch of ancient walling that runs between the respective stones — is this rather large boulder close to the walling with at least seven cup-marks on it. A number of vague lines run down and around the edges of some of the cups, but they can be somewhat hard to see if the light conditions aint right (I don’t recommend trying to suss it out on dark grey overcast days — unless you’ve got awesome eyes!). Immediately next to this rock is a large collection of small stones, looking to be the remains of some man-made construction from time past. The nature of this pile of rocks has yet to be ascertained, but it would be reasonable to assume that it was at one point earlier a much larger pile that has been plundered for use to make the drystone walls hereby. Less than 10 yards below this and the Tree of Life Stone carving is a line of ancient walling, at least Iron Age in nature, possibly earlier, running for some distance east-west up and across the moorland.
The carving was described for the first time, albeit very briefly, by Eric Cowling (1937) in his lengthier description of the Tree of Life Stone, saying how “a small coped stone to the east has several scattered cups” on its surface — meaning this old thing! Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey (2003) describe it as a
“medium-sized, upstanding, worn rock. Seven or eight possible cups, mostly at the top of S face, but one at its bottom of E face.”
…And the poor old fella has had nowt else said of it until now! I reckon this carving will only be of interest to the most serious of meditators or hardened rock-art freaks!
- Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
- Cowling, Eric T., “Cup and Ring Markings to the North of Otley,” in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, part 131, 33:3, 1937.
- Cowling, Eric T., Rombald’s Way: A Prehistory of Mid-Wharfedale, William Walker: Otley 1946.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian