Cup-and-Ring Stone: OS Grid Reference – SE 10931 51278
Follow the same directions as to reach the so-called Smiley Stone carving and look just 10 yards SE.
Archaeology & History
About 10 yards away from the Smiley Stone is another of Middleton Moor’s ‘dubious carvings’ to me. I remember seeing the drawing of this years back, perhaps a decade after Stuart Feather first described it (1966) and remember thinking it looked a bloody good carving. But when I saw it for the first time in February 2005 with Richard Stroud, not only could I hardly see what was supposed to be there, but once I’d seen the alleged design, some doubt came over me regarding its archaic nature. That doubt still remains.
There certainly seems to be a few faded cup-marks on the stone — which looks to be broken from a larger, circular worked stone of a much more modern age (an old mill stone perhaps?) — but the lines which both Feather and the grand pair of Boughey & Vickerman (2003) copy into their survey, are all too vague and certainly not ancient in my book. Perhaps some local folk were still etching cup-marks and lines onto stones into the medieval period and later, like the ones found on the Churn Milk Joan monolith near Hebden Bridge…
- Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
- Feather, Stuart, “Mid-Wharfedale Cup-and-Ring Markings, no.47: Middleton Moor, Ilkley,” in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Gorup Bulletin, 11:9, 1966.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian