Mount Skip, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

Tumulus (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 0095 2748

Archaeology & History

Up behind the old pub that was The Mount Skip, high on the ridge above Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd, overlooking the Calder Valley for many miles, was once — it would seem — a number of fine prehistoric remains, long since destroyed by the industrial advance of quarrying and such likes.  Amidst what seems to have been settlement remains and, perhaps, timber circles, an ancient grave was also known here.  In Mr Ling Roth’s (1906) essay on the prehistoric remains of the Halifax region, he wrote:

“In May, 1897, a grave was discovered at a quarry above Mount Skip Inn.  The first indications were the rolling down of pieces of urns which the delvers called flower pots.  Then in digging into a hole to fix the leg of a crane, human bones were discovered,  Mr Crossley Ainsworth told me: “The grave was about 6ft (1.8m) long, from 14 to 18in (35-45.7cm) wide and about 2ft (61cm) deep…the head and feet were almost exactly north and south, with the face right towards the midday sun.”  The bones were very brittle and crumbled easily in the hand.  There was a lot of charcoal in the grave.  In the ends of the grave which were undisturbed, “there appeared to be about 6in (15cm) thick of charred wood and bones mixed together at the bottom.  Flints were also found.  Also the larger half of a small earthenware vessel which had rolled down into the quarry ; this was picked up by a man named Thos. Greenwood, of Shawcroft Hill.”

The site was mentioned again nearly fifty years later in Geoffrey Watson’s (1952) survey, but with no additional details.

References:

  1. Roth, H. Ling, The Yorkshire Coiners 1767-183; and Notes on Old and Prehistoric Halifax, F. King and Son: Halifax 1906.
  2. Watson, Geoffrey G., Early Man in the Halifax District, Halifax Scientific Society 1952.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.743697, -1.987075 Mount Skip tumulus

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