Niplet Stone, Rivock, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07481 44452

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.23 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.59 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Niplet Stone (after Hedges)
Niplet Stone (after Hedges)

Follow the same directions to reach the nearby Wondjina Stone, but as you reach the trig-point at the top of Rivock Edge, note the smooth rounded boulder 50 yards ESE.  That’s it!

Archaeology & History

Named after the sea of cotton grasses, or niplets (Eriophorum angustifolium), amidst which it lives for several weeks of the year, the cups-marks that make up this design can be terribly difficult to work out even in the best of lighting.  We have here a lichen-encrusted stone with perhaps as many as 25 cup-marks scattering, mainly, the top and westerly sloping face.  Although some of the cups are quite noticeable, the vegetative growth and simple erosion has made an accurate visual impression of the original carving very difficult — as the images plainly tell!  If I ever manage to capture the stone resting in a good mood, I’ll replace the photos I’ve got here!

Niplet Stone, looking SE
Niplet Stone, looking SE
Beautiful fusion of faded cups, lichen & great age...
Beautiful fusion of faded cups, lichen & great age…

Although I remember coming here and seeing this and the nearby carvings when I was a teenager, then a few years later on with Edna Whelan and Graeme Chappell, it seems that the first literary note of this carving after my own initial exploration was in the Ilkley Archaeology Group’s survey (Hedges 1986), where they make note of a flint that was found beside the stone.  Boughey and Vickerman (2003) later include the same stone in their work, but with no additional information.


  1. Bennett, Paul, “The Prehistoric Rock Art and Megalithic Remains of Rivock & District (parts 1 & 2),” in Earth, 3-4, 1986.
  2. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  3. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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