It’s easier to explain how to get here if you’re coming from the Burnsall-side of the B6160 road that leads to Bolton Abbey. A half-mile out of Burnsall village you a small woodland with a small parking spot. From here, a footpath runs up the steep hill above the parking spot. It zigzags a little and you eventually come out on the south-side of the trees where it meets some tall walling. Follow this walling further uphill for more than 600 yards (past more woodland) until the land starts to level out. Hereby, go thru an opening in the wall and less than 100 yards away (west) amidst the overgrown heather, you’ll see what you’re looking for.
Archaeology & History
A large but peculiar site resting on a moorland plateau on the eastern edges of the mighty Barden Moor. Peculiar inasmuch as it’s completely isolated from any other monument of the same age and type anywhere on these huge moors. A few miles east, on the moors around Appletreewick, Thruscross and Beamsley we have a plethora of prehistoric sites—but up here on Barden Moor there’s apparently nowt else! I find that hard to believe….
Listed on official websites as being a ring cairn, it’s difficult without a detailed excavation of the site (there hasn’t been one) so say that’s what it is. But we’ll stick with it for the time being. My initial impression of the site was that it was a crude form of a collapsed Scottish dun: impressive large circular monuments—buildings if you like—with very well-built large stone walls, usually several yards thick, a little bit like the Scottish brochs (mighty things indeed!). This thing at Folly Top isn’t quite as impressive, but it’s like a collapsed version of a dun.
The site consists of large ring of raised collapsed rubble walling, more than a yard high in places, and about three yards thick all the way round, measuring roughly 21 yards (N-S) by 19 yards (E-W) from outer wall to outer wall. There are “entrances” on the east and west sides; but there seemed to be little of any note in the middle of the ring, although the site was somewhat overgrown on our visit here. Outside of the ring there was also nothing of any note. It’s a pretty isolated monument which seems to have more of an Iron Age look about it than the Bronze Age—but until there’s an excavation, we’ll not know for sure.
It’s well worth checking out—and from here, walk onto the huge moorland above you to the west….
Acknowledgements: Huge thanks to the Crazy-gang of Sarah, Helen and James for their awesome assistance on our venture up here. A damn good day indeed! Cheers doods. 🙂
Make your way to the Black Beck tomb and walk west for some 50 yards. If the heather has grown any more than a foot tall, it’s impossible to see.
Archaeology & History
Near the northernmost section of the Hawksworth Shaw prehistoric graveyard, some 50 yards west of the Black Beck cairn, exists the remains of a small prehistoric enclosure whose walling is deeply embedded in the peat. Although I describe the place as an ‘enclosure’, we don’t know for certain whether it is a ruined settlement or large hut circles (although this latter idea is the more improbable).
Two large open arcs of walling—like large letter “C’s”—with their open sides to the east, have been constructed next to each other, virtually coming together in the shape of an inverted number “3”. The walling in the southern arc—measuring some 33 yards in length and barely higher than 1 foot above ground level—consists of standard stones and rubble, similar to some of the hut circles that are found in greater abundance on the north-side of Ilkley Moor. The smaller, less visible arc of stones—some 18 yards of it—is lower in the earth. Both lines of walling may have been robbed in part to construct some of the extensive cairns close by, as neither of the two arcs were very high and it was very difficult to work out even what sort of structure they might have been.
Like many other prehistoric sites on Rombalds Moor, only an excavation is going to tell us precisely what was going on here…
Start at the Askwith Moor parking spot on Askwith Moor Road, then walk down the road (south) 300 yards till you reach the gate and track on the other side of the road, heading southeast. Following the track onto the moor and take the footpath on your right after 75 yards. Follow this along until you hit the gate & fence. Climb over this, then follow the same fence along (left) and down, and keep following the fence and walling all the way on until you reach the very bottom southwestern edge of Askwith Moor itself. Now, walk up the slope to your right and, near the top of this rise 250 yards away, past Lower Lanshaw 01 carving, in some ancient walling, you’ll find it!
Archaeology & History
A very faded cup-and-ring carving can be found about 30 yards northeast of the Lower Lanshaw cup-marked stone, just as the hill slopes down to the overgrown stream. It rests on the lower edges of the prehistoric (probably Bronze Age) enclosure in which other archaeological remains can be found. Although the photo here highlights what seems to be 3 cups on the south-face of the rock, only one of them seems authentic. A pecked “line” also seemed evident, but the light conditions were poor when we were here. It does seem that there’s a faded ring around one of the cups, as you can see in the photo.