Cup-and-Ring Stone: OS Grid Reference – SE 11571 51635
Also Known as:
- Carving no.481 (Boughey & Vickerman)
This is a lovely-looking stone in the pictures and diagrams, and is quite easy to find close to the meeting of the footpaths along Foldshaw Ridge and the Parks Lane track, near the gate. It lays at an angle in the short grass just by the path…but to me, all is not what it seems…
Archaeology & History
This was a carving I saw pictures of in the 1970s, and always thought it would be something to behold – but my first impression here wasn’t just disappointment, but the most distinct thought that the carving’s modern! It’s a real oddity. For a start, the cups in this carving are very small – much smaller than the countless authentic carvings on the moors here and at Ilkley to the south. And after seeing thousands of these things, this one didn’t seem at all right.
The lack of erosion on the cups may be due to it once accompanying a prehistoric tomb some time in the past, though no such remains have been noted here. However, at carved stones Middleton Moor 001 and Middleton Moor 2 — less than 100 yards to the east — cairns are in evidence next to the petroglyphs, indicating that this relationship occurs at some cup-and-ring stones in this small geographical region and, perhaps, explaining the ideosyncratic nature of this design.
But such speculation aside – the brief literary history of this stone is: first described by Stuart Feather in 1965 and illustrated by Sidney Jackson the same year. The rock art students Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) described around sixty ‘cups’ etched onto the stone here, but they made no comment about either the odd nature of the cups or the possibility of it being modern. Perhaps it’s just me…
- Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, West Yorkshire Archaeology Service 2003.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian