Middleton Moor Carving (447), North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10931 51278

Getting Here

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.

Faint cups & lines
Design on carving 447

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…


  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  2. 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

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