Little Haystack Rock, Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone: OS Grid Reference – SE 13654 45936

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.184 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.355 (Boughey & Vickerman)
  3. Haystack 2

The Little Haystack - looking west

Getting Here

Follow the same directions to reach the Pancake Stone.  Then walk eastwards along the footpath on the moorland edge.  After about 400 yards, keep your eye out to your right on the moorland proper where you’ll see this large boulder, seemingly isolated, of similar shape to the Haystack Rock, but a bit smaller.  That’s it! If you end up near the stream (Rushy Beck) you’ve gone way past it.

Archaeology & History

Four of the cups
Four of the cups on this lichen-rich surface
Little Haystack (after Hedges 1986)
Little Haystack (after Hedges 1986)

Found in the middle of the Green Crag Slack Plain, this large Haystack-Rock-shaped boulder stands out.  It sits amidst a cairn-field with other neolithic remains nearby.  The carving itself aint that impressive, and some parts of it seem almost dubious.  But both Hedges, Boughey and Vickerman include it in their surveys, describing the cup-marks and curious lines on its northeastern surface.  It’s nowt special to be honest.  You’d expect a bit more from the size of this old stone; but as those folk who know their rock art well will tell you, size aint everything when it comes the splattering of cups on a rock’s surface. We have four distinct cups pretty close to each other (as the photo shows), with another possible cup-and-ring and accompanying lines nearby.

The stone’s worth looking at though.  It stands out amidst the mass of single- and double-tombs scattered across the moorland plain — sitting amidst a veritable necropolis no less.


  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, West Yorkshire Archaeology Service 2003.
  2. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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