Spotted Stone, Stanbury Hill, Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 11025 43334

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.84 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.105 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

General Plan of Spotted Stone
General Plan of Spotted Stone

Same direction as the Lunar Stone: from East Morton village take the moorland road, east, up the steep hill.  Where the road levels out there’s a right turn and a trackway on your left which leads onto the moor.  Go up this track and keep walking till you hit a moorland ‘footpath’ signpost.  Stop here and walk due west (left) onto the gently sloping rise of Stanbury Hill.  Keep walking for a 250 yards or so, where the land has sloped gently down to the end of the spur; and just 50 yards before it drops down to the stream below, you’ll find a cluster of rocks scattered about.  One of the stones here is this one!

Archaeology & History

First reported by Stuart Feather in 1977, this is an excellent carving with an apt title suiting its appearence.  Just 13-14 yards west (towards the cluster of other carvings very close by) are the denuded remains of what looks like a robbed cairn.  Initially I thought that the archaeologists had been here and turned it over – but it seems not!

Spotted Stone - looking west
Spotted Stone – looking west
Close-up of NE section
Close-up of NE section

There are between 55 and 61 cup-markings etched onto this stone, with several short lines and ringlets; with one small ridge of two curves ‘arching’ over a couple of cups giving the impression of owl’s eyes! (O.G.S. Crawford would have loved this one in his book, The Eye Goddess!)  The stone gave me the distinct impression that it had either once stood upright, or else was part of a burial; and the finding of a prehistoric cairn just a few yards to the west reinforced this thought (although, gotta be said, knowing that cup-&-rings and death is a common theme upon these moors, it’s likely to sometimes afflict my ability to see these carvings with fresh eyes each time I come across them). Added to this is that the carving is in a very good state of preservation, with a considerable lack of general erosion on the cup-marks (as found on the majority of carved rocks on these moors) adding considerably to the thought that this might have once served part of a tomb, or perhaps cist cover and only been brought to the surface in quite recent years.  This seems undeniable.

Unless, of course, this carving was etched sometime in the last century…


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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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