Guisecliff Wood (626), Bewerley, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 16078 63641

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.626
  2. Hogback Stone
  3. Lower Intake carving
Carving 626, looking NNW

Getting Here

From Pateley Bridge take the B6265 road towards Grassington, turning left just a coupla hundred yards over the river bridge, towards Bewerley.  Go through the hamlet and take the second on the right, up the steep zigzagging lane.  A half-mile up the hill, watch out for the track onto Westcliff Farm.  Go along here and onto the footpath, then as you walk through the field, look uphill where the long wall runs into the trees, and you’ll see a rock in the walling near the top.  That’s it!

Archaeology & History

Just over the edge of the northern section of The Intakes at the western end of Guisecliff Wood, on a large rock in the walling near the very top of the field above Westcliff Farm, we find this little-known but very impressive cup-and-ring stone.

Close-up of some cups
Boughey & Vickerman’s drawing

Upon first sight the rock was aptly described by Danny Tierney as being like a Viking Hogback Stone with cup-markings along the sloping side of the long rock as it grew into the drystone walling.  He had a point!  It’s a curious carving (how many times do I say that!?), with the majority of the cup-marks and lines etched into the south-sloping face of the rock.  Other cups found further down the stone stretch along the eastern side towards ground level; and we have a small line of cups etched onto the normal horizontal face halfway along the stone.

The carving was rediscovered by Stuart Feather in the ‘Sixties and was all-but-forgotten until Boughey & Vickerman (2003) rejuvenated it in their catalogue.  They told it to be:

“Large rock of coarse grit lying with long uneven surface E to W, at ground level to S and E, but with high N and W faces.  Up to eighty cups but some may be due to pebbles or other natural causes; one cup has two half-rings which, like some grooves visible, suggest a now incomplete design.”

The fascinating ‘boxed’ cup-and-ring stone of Guisecliff Woods 629 can be found less than 200 yards east of here, in the trees, and is certainly worth seeking out!

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart & Hartley, C.E., “The Yorkshire Archaeological Register, 1964: Bewerley. W.R.”, in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal,  volume 41, 1965.

Links:

  1. More images of Guisecliff Wood carvings

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Guisecliff Woods CR-626

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Guisecliff Woods CR-626 54.068458, -1.755816 Guisecliff Woods CR-626

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