Cup-Marked Stone: OS Grid Reference – SE 17456 39155
From Thackley corner, take the Esholt road down Ainsbury Avenue. After a couple of hundred yards, note the metal gateways into the woods. Go through here, following the main path, until you reach another split in the paths where one of those awful touristy signs tells you where you are. Walk past this (not left or right) into the opening of large oaks and other trees on a flat plain. A path swings round the right side of this, and less than 100 yards along, watch out for some rocks on your right, heading towards the wall and small field. You’re damn close!
Archaeology & History
This is one amongst a cluster of at least five cup-marked stones very close to each other in the woods here — and probably the best of the bunch. Also found in conjunction with what seems to be an Iron Age walled enclosure 20 yards away, there are at least eight cup-marks on top of this rock, They occur in two groups: one, on a sloping section of the boulder where three fading cups can be seen; and the other is on the topmost section of the stone, where five larger cups distinctly stand out, and occur in conjunction with what seems to be a long carved line running close to the edge of the rock before it drops sharply to the ground.
This and its associated carvings are found in close proximity to some sort of walled enclosure. It’s difficult ascertaining the age and nature of the enclosure walling, as masses of it are found throughout this section of woodland and it appears to be multiperiod in age and nature: from Iron Age to Victorian by the look of things. Neither this cup-marked stone, nor any of its close associates (the closest of which is the Buck Woods 3 carving, less than 10 yards away), were recorded in the Boughey & Vickerman survey of rock art in West Yorkshire.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian