Douky Bottom Ring, Arncliffe, North Yorkshire

Enclosure:  OS Grid Reference – SD 95126 68887

Also Known as

  1. Dowkerbottom

Getting Here

Douky Bottom Ring
Douky Bottom Ring

Go up the B6160 road, heading for Kilnsey Crag.  A few hundred yards past here, take the road to Arncliffe and, several hundred yards along, keep yer eyes peeled for the (usually) decent craggy dry stream bed on your left (west). Follow this upstream till you hit the large cave, continuing uphill above the crags, following the steep walling upwards to the next set of crags.  Above these, another long straight line of walling continues in the same direction you’ve been walking. Follow this along until it meets up with another large line of walling, heading NE.  Walk along here till this wall changes direction NE, but here you need to walk across the grasses westwards, past the large cave for another 100 yards.  You’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

This is a simple but well-preserved circular monument, probably constructed in the Iron Age, just 100 yards past the incredible Douky Bottom cave (in which various prehistoric remains have been found).  No excavations appear to have been made here, yet the near-perfect ring is in very good condition indeed.  The monument consists of thousands of small stones – taken from the huge scree immediately behind the structure – whose uppermost visible mass overlays a much older and larger pile of stones, all of roughly the same size.

Douky Bottom ring, looking NE
Douky Bottom ring, looking NE

The ring is less than 10 yards across and gives the impression of it being a large hut circle—which it may or may not be.  Without an excavation we cannot know its function with any certainty.  Other, much larger prehistoric enclosures and settlements are close by, mainly to the northeast; and you have the truly bizarre rock piles on the ghostly horizon crags, whose histories are quiet indeed….  For any antiquarians amongst you who’d like a good day out, give this region a try!  It’s a truly intriguing arena with much much more hiding away than any of the archaeology records can tell you about.

Acknowledgements:  Many many thanks to James Elkington for guiding us to the sites in this region.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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0 thoughts on “Douky Bottom Ring, Arncliffe, North Yorkshire”

  1. The cave is known as ‘Sleets Gill’ and the reason why it is so deadly is that it floods completely up to a week after it has rained. Anyone down there when it floods will almost certainly drown. The cave entrance is situated at the head of a normally dry valley under an overhanging cliff. The entrance is approx 6 ft across and 3 ft high and drops down at a 45 degree angle for 150 ft. This then opens up into a railway sized tunnel which heads straight for 1000 ft where it suddenly chokes (the roof having fallen down). Apart from a couple of long very low crawls (aptly named ‘hydrophobia passage’ and ‘hyperthermia passage’ that is about it (although there is a big bit at the end of the crawls). A pleasant enough cave but during flood the whole main tunnel completely fills with water, and water pours out of the 150ft entrance tube to emerge in daylight. The flood comes when the water table rises and it has been reported that the water shoots up out of the floor like a mini geysers and jets are also seen squirting across the walls. It is a place few cavers venture to. You can see some of my pics of sleets gill main tunnel by following this link (the last 2 are sleets gill). Hope this answers your question. Regards James

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