Rivock Enclosure, Riddlesden, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Enclosure:  OS Grid Reference – SE 0768 4414

Getting Here

Rivock Enclosure walling, looking north
Rivock Enclosure walling, looking north

Follow the directions to reach the small Rivock East Carving just on the level of the small moorland.  From here, walk less than 100 yards east, staying just on the edge of the moor, keeping your eyes peeled for the irregular shaped rocks running in lines roughly parallel with the footpath above the edge of the crags.

Archaeology & History

Recent explorations in and around the Rivock Edge area found, not only a number of undiscovered cup-and-ring stones, but the overgrown remains of an undoubted prehistoric enclosure on the ridge of moorland above the rock escarpment which has not previously been reported in archaeological surveys.  Much of the time the area is covered in deep heather, but thanks to this small section of moor being burnt back a short while ago, the lines of walling that mark the enclosure are there for all to see. It’s obvious that some sections of the old walls have been removed in the not-too-distant past for use in more modern walling and, nearby, old quarries and farming have probably been responsible for other destructive elements.

Easternmost line of Rivock enclosure walling
Easternmost line of Rivock enclosure walling

This enclosure is of a rough, rounded, scalene triangular formation, with the main piece of extant walling running roughly northeast-southwest.  The walling is typical of other settlements and enclosures in the region, probably Bronze Age in nature, Iron Age at the latest, with some natural earthfast boulders marking parts of the outline and many smaller pieces of rock and packing stones being added to build up the structure.  The same layout is found at other nearby prehistoric enclosures at Crow Well, Dumpit Hill, Snowden Moor, Woofa Bank and many others.

Of the larger upright stones in the Rivock Enclosure, several of them stand about three feet high, with some of them having been knocked down.  The longest line of walling, running roughly east-west, is less than 50 yards long; whilst the enclosure wall running roughly north-south on its eastern side is 30 yards long.  Much of the walling along its northern side appears overgrown and sections of it are missing.

For a long time I puzzled as to whether there had been any settlements on this part of Rombald’s Moor, rich in cup-and-rings stones — and at last we find that there was at least one such site.  Forays back and forth across the level ground all around here failed to locate any other similar enclosure remains; but it may be that some have been covered (or were destroyed) in the adjacent forestry plantation to the west.  Further explorations by fellow antiquarians may prove worthwhile when the forest is cut down in the next few years.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

(Visited 92 times, 1 visits today)

Written by 

2 thoughts on “Rivock Enclosure, Riddlesden, Keighley, West Yorkshire”

  1. It can be quite exciting as well! The wonder of discovery seems to light up a lot of people when we explore these ancient environments – always a good thing! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *