Caspar Stone, Middleton Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10879 51405

Archaeology & History

Caspar Stone drawing © M.Short & R.Stroud
Caspar Stone unearthed © M.Short & R. Stroud

This carving was discovered very recently following an exploration of recognised sites on Middleton Moor by rock art student Mike Short on March 28, 2010.  Found amidst a cluster of other carved rocks, it was located after he noticed a small piece of stone poking out of the peat and — as happens to those folk obsessed by these ‘ere carvings — he decided to dig round the stone and cut the turf back to see if there was anything carved on the rock, as there are other cup-and-rings are close by.  Thankfully, after a bit of effort digging round the stone, Mike found the carving we see in the images here! (courtesy of Mike and Richard Stroud).   With a distinctly ‘facial’ appearance (hence the name), the following notes were written describing the new find:

“Small roughly oval dome-shaped medium grit rock approx. 49cm X 36cm, at and below soil level. Two cups, one of which is conical and deep (55mm deep and 65-75mm diameter) and of similar profile to one of the cups on No. 458; small shallow bowl-like depression with possible peck marks; curving groove on northern edge.”

When Mike finished with their drawings and measurements, the stone was covered back over and left in situ.  Although I aint seen the carving ‘in the flesh’ misself yet (we’re gonna have a look next week) it gives me the impression it had some association with burials.


  1. Short, Mike & Stroud, Richard, “Report of New Carved Rock (‘Caspar’) on Middleton Moor,” April 2010.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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3 thoughts on “Caspar Stone, Middleton Moor, North Yorkshire”

  1. Hello Paul, I can’t claim any glory for this whatsoever, apart from the grid ref 🙂

    Agree with you about the likely burial context given its look, size, plus proximity to a unrecorded cairn like structure 2m E. The design reminded me of ‘Smiley’ with a curving enhanced groove enclosing a higher part of the stone. Really is a lovely looking thing in the flesh and is probably the only piece of rock art to make me laugh…


  2. Ey up Rich!

    So should I edit the “discoverers” bit? Just Mike wozzit? Lemme know & I’ll amend the info. 🙂

    We’re gonna be up Beamsley Beacon & Middleton Moor this Thursday to have a look round. I don’t like the sound of the defaced carvings up there though… Sounds a wee bit odd.

    atb – Paul

  3. Yep Paul, I was about 13 miles south when Mike discovered the two new ones – I just helped him record them a week or so later.

    Whilst on Beamsley, if you pass the Old Pike Cairn, take a look at the cup and poss ring we spotted N of the upright about 5 years ago. We dismissed it then as being recent (previous few years) but ‘tas now gone into the record as bona fide.

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