Cassiopeia Stone, Baildon Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13771 40235

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.28 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.156 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

If you wanna find this carving, you’ll find it near several others on the Low Plain, 40 yards east of the footpath north of Dobrudden Farm.  Look around in the tribbly grass!

Archaeology & History

This was first described and illustrated in a short article by William Glossop in the Bradford Antiquary in 1888, and reproduced by W. Paley Baildon (1913) – who drew his own impression of the carving. Tis one of my favourites from this moor. Dunno why – I just like it.

W.P. Baildon’s accurate 1913 drawing
Cowling’s 1946 drawing

Local astronomer and writer Gordon Holmes (1997) posited the theory that a part of this carving represented the constellation of Cassiopeia — hence its title!  He told of finding the same pattern of cups at four other carvings on the moors and assigned astronomical meanings to them.  He may be right, though I doubt it to be honest.  Having looked and looked at the many carvings here, and many other places, the star-reflection hypothesis doesn’t tend to work (as the heavenly bodies have moved somewhat since the days when the cups were first carved).  Along with this, when I was young I used to think cup-and-rings did have an astronomical basis — only to find, after constant analysis, that the theory didn’t work.

There are perhaps 20 cup-markings here, with various linking-lines and curves between and around the cups.  Perhaps the most accurate of the early drawings was Mr Paley Baildon’s 1913 image, where he highlighted the faint surrounding ring enclosing the 4 or 5 cups near the bottom of the stone.


  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Cowling, Eric T., Rombald’s Way, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  3. Glossop, William, “Ancient British Remains on Baildon Moor,” in Bradford Antiquary, 1888.
  4. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  5. Holmes, Gordon T., 2000 BC – A Neolithic Odyssey, SASRG Press 1997.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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