Harden Moor Cairnfield, Bingley, West Yorkshire

Cairns:  OS Grid Reference – SE 0757 3869

Getting Here

Overgrown cairn, looking north

Follow the same directions to reach the Harden Moor circle.  From here, walk down the footpath at its side down the slope for 100 yards and take the first little footpath on your left for 25 yards, then left again for 25 yards, watching for a small footpath on your right.  Walk on here for another 100 yards or so, keeping your eyes peeled for the image in the photo just off-path on your left, almost overgrown with heather. 

Archaeology & History

This is just one of several cairns in and around this area (I’ll probably add more and give ’em their own titles and profiles as time goes by), but it’s in a pretty good state of preservation.  Nothing specific has previously been written about it, though it seems to have been recorded and given the National Monument number of 31489, with the comment “Cairn 330m north of Woodhead, Harden Moor.” (anyone able to confirm or correct this for me?)

It’s a good, seemingly undisturbed tomb, very overgrown on its north and eastern sides.  Three pretty large upright stones, a couple of feet high, remain in position with an infill of smaller stones and overgrowth (apart from removing a little vegetation from the edges to see it clearer, we didn’t try disturbing it when we found it).  It gives the impression of being a tomb for just one, perhaps two people and is more structured than the simple pile-of-stone cairns on the moors north of here above Ilkley and Bingley.  Indeed, the upright stones initially gave the impression of it once being a small cromlech of sorts!  Other cairns exist close by, but until we get heather-burning done up here, they’re difficult to find – or at least get any decent images of them!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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