Stoup Hill Carving, Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 177 501

Getting Here

Cup-marked stone, Stoup Hill

From the Askwith Moor car-park, walk down the road (south) for 2-300 yards until you reach the gate on the right-hand side of the road.  Go thru this and turn immediately left, following the fence along, parallel to the road for about 100 yards (if you reach the small disused quarry, you’ve gone 100 yards too far), then walk into the heath, up near the top of the little peak and walk down the other side of the slope for about 80 yards.  You’re getting damn close — look around!

Archaeology & History

First found on the afternoon of May 13, 2010, in the company of Dave Hazell — though at the time the light was poor and the sky was grey and overcast, not allowing for any decent images being made.  We returned here yesterday under a lovely clear sky for most of the day (and without the polluting roars of planes from the nearby airport, thanks to that great Icelandic volcano [keep it going!], making it even better) and got some decent photos this time.

Sketch of basic design
Close-up of some cups

It’s only a small low stone, slightly sloping (similar in size and form to carving no.535 about 100 yards west of here), and is gonna be very difficult to find when the heather is in full growth.  But thankfully when we found it last week, the heather had been burnt back. Whilst there are two large and very notable cups here — one on the west-facing vertical edge of the stone, the other on its south-facing slope — several others are more troublesome to see clearly, both through a mixture of age and erosion.  The other cups are a little smaller aswell, being very similar in status to the curious small cup-markings on the Lattice Stone carving (no.481).  One cluster of these smaller cups are arranged in a curved T-shape formation around the middle to eastern-side of the rock.  Below this are what seems to be a long singular cup, but upon feeling this — the Beckensall technique — the hardworking Keighley volunteer Michala Potts found it seemed to consist of three small cups all linked to each other.  Attached to this section, a small groove runs up to the aforementioned T-formation cluster.  Whilst at the top-end of the stone is what seems to be another larger cup-marking, but I’m not sure whether it’s Nature’s handiwork, or artificial.  A few more visits here might enable us to say one way or the other!

There are no other archaeological remains immediately adjacent.  Another “possible” cup-marked rock (more than twice the size of this stone) can be found about 30 yards further uphill, next to another large stone.  But one of the nice things about this small carving is its position in the landscape: an excellent view opens up of mid-Wharfedale below you, and the uphills of Rombald’s Moor is on the far side of the valley.  Make of it what you will…


  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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