Heyshaw Moor (north), Dacre, North Yorkshire

Cairns:  OS Grid Reference – SE 16218 63253

Getting Here

Heyshaw cairn, looking NW

From the road between Pateley Bridge and Summerbridge, the B6165, turn down to Glasshouses, following the road through the village and round past the reservoir; then as the road bends, keep to your left and go the steep zigzaggy hill, stopping where a gravel parking space is on the right-hand side of the road, by the bend.  From here, cross the road and walk up the footpath to Yorke’s Folly.  Go over the wall and along the footpath by the wall (the Nidderdale Way) for a coupla hundred yards.  Then turn into the heather about 50 yards up from the walling.  Look around!

Archaeology & History

Heyshaw Moor cairn no.1

There’s no previous reference to this site.  It was found yesterday and is one of several such small heaps of stones (cairns) found along the flat ridge of moorland just south the hugely impressive of Guisecliff Crags on the northern edge of Heyshaw Moor.  The one illustrated here is probably the best of the several we found and may be indicative of a previously undiscovered cairnfield.  On a visit to the western side of the moors a few months ago we found another small cluster of similar cairns in very good condition, much like the one pictured here.  It would appear to be prehistoric in nature — although the existence of an old track that ran nearly 20 yards to the west may indicate its previous use as a marker cairn.  On the slopes below here (north) there are several examples of cup-and-ring stones, which tend to indicate the proximity of prehistoric graves.  This cairn could well be such marker.

We also found evidence of other early human remains on this ridge and further up the moor (walling, rectangular building, possible cairn circle), but there appears to be no literary information explaining its nature.  Further visits are needed here.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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