Green Gates stone (257), Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 11499 46049

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.103 (Hedges)

Getting Here

Green Gates (257) stone

Take the road from Ilkley town centre up towards the White Wells and keep following it along until it curves up and onto the moor itself and becomes a rocky dirt-track.  Go up here, past the old quarries (left) until you hit the footpath which runs east (left) onto the flat level of the moorland. Follow this footpath along for literally half-a-mile, where a footpath runs up onto the tops of the moorland.  Go up here for 100 yards and you’ll see a small standing stone by the right-hand side of the footpath; on the left, into the moorland about 20 yards away, this carving is to be found!

Archaeology & History

This is an excellent, archetypal cup-and-ring stone carving and is in a very good state of preservation.  Found just a few yards away from the aptly-named Pitchfork Stone, the carving here on a large single stone mainly comprises of a double cup-and-ring.  A couple of other possible outlying cup-marks can be seen: one just below the double-ring, and the other towards the top-end of the rock.  It was first reported by Stuart Feather in the Bradford Archaeology Group’s journal in 1961, then listed in the surveys of Hedges (1986) and his followers.

Carving 257, looking NE

When Michala Potts, Dave Hazell and I we visited this carving the other day, some halfwit had been up here in the not-too-distant past and, as with some of the carvings on the moors north of Ilkley, had daubed some paint or oily resin onto the carvings themselves to specifically highlight aspects of the carved rock (not one part of the uncarved stone had anything on it).  We aint quite sure exactly what the substance is that’s been daubed onto the carvings (it aint ordinary paint), but seems like an oil or industrial substance.  And, whoever’s done this, obviously seems to have some knowledge of the rock art they’re painting over: they certainly have good grid-references and enjoy walking the hills.  This aint just some idiot/s into vandalizing the carvings for the sake of it, nor the whim of some airy-fairy New-Ager.  Whoever’s done this (and it’s been done on other cup-and-rings around this locale) have deliberately set out to locate and paint over specific carvings — a number of them off-path — with the intention it would seem to highlight them for photographic enhancement.  So — whichever retard has done this, might I suggest that you keep your industrial waste where it belongs: either in your own house, or preferably up your mother’s arse, where you obviously first emerged from.  If anyone knows who is doing this to the carvings round here, please email me (anonymously if necessary) with all relevant info.  Any such communications regarding this matter will be kept strictly confidential.


  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  2. Hedges, John, The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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