Stanbury Hill (097), Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10970 43361

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.78 (Hedges)

Getting Here

To get here, follow the same directions to reach the ornate Lunar Stone.  Once here, walk about 20 yards west towards where the brow of the hill begins to slope down.  Amble about and you’ll easily find it.

Archaeology & History

This is a fascinating carving.  Fascinating, inasmuch as it seemingly keeps changing appearance when Nature moves her daylight hues and whimsical unpredictability betwixt the hills, surrounding landscape and human observer.  Depending very much where you stand and when you look at this small rock — dappled with unacknowledged veils of sunlights, grey winds and other natural forces — determines what the stone shows you.  This carving as much as any upon this hill shows once again the hugely neglected dynamic between human purveyor and Nature’s powerful subtlety: an organic exchange of moods from stone to man and back again; very much how our ancestors saw things to be…

Pecked lines clearly visible on the far end of the rock
Carving from above

For if we were to merely pay attention to what the reference books tell us about this carving (good reference books though they are!), we’d simply be seeing a rock possessing a “cup and partial ring and two other possible cups”, as Boughey & Vickerman (2003) and other students might do.  But then, if conditions change, only subtly, and we gaze instead of study, other things can emerge.  And just such a thing happened when we came here yesterday…

On my first visit here I could only see a single cup-marking, with another ‘debatable’ close by.  The light of day wasn’t quite right it seemed.  But when we visited here yesterday, the sun, the light, the land and our ambling minds saw much more unveiled from this old grey surface.  Whilst two cups-and-rings seem to link with another cup on the lower end of the stone, amidst the natural cracks and fissures, on the higher end are very distinct carved pecked lines, one of which has been blatantly cut onto, or upon, the long curving crack which runs from one end of the stone to the other.  As this carved line emerges out of the natural crack, it heads upwards.  As it does so, another line has been pecked running off it to the left and then curves back down the sloping rock-face once again.  But in this previously unrecognised carved section, these lines may extend even further up the rock…’s hard to say for sure.  We could do with greater analysis of its surface, with further observations under yet more lighting conditions.


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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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