Skyreholme Carving (406), Appletreewick, North Yorkshire

Cup-marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 0740 6254

Getting Here

Skyreholme 406

Skyreholme 406 carving

Along the B6265 Pateley Bridge-Grassington road, roughly halfway between Stump Cross Caverns and the turn to Skyeholme and Applecross (New Lane) is a dirt-track on your right-hand side called Black Hill Road. Walk down here for a few hundred yards till y’ reach the gate on the right. A track goes downhill to the psilocybin-rich pastures of Nussey Green. Several hundred yards down, to the right-hand side of the track, we find this and its several companions. Look around!

Archaeology & History

Skyreholme-406 carving

Sketch showing cups

Just a few yards away from the Skyrehome Carving-404, this very basic petroglyph was rediscovered by Stuart Feather (1969) during one his many forays in this area.  Although the stone has what initially seems to be a number cup-marks on it, it seems only two of them are man-made. The rock art students Boughey & Vickerman (2003) think there may be up to four of them.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart, “Appletreewick, W.R.: Black Hill,” in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, volume 42, part 167, 1969.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Skyreholme CR-406

loading map - please wait...

Skyreholme CR-406 54.058759, -1.888445 Skyreholme CR-406

Skyreholme Carving (405), Appletreewick, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07395 62382

Getting Here

Skyreholme 405 Carving

Skyreholme 405 Carving

Going down (south) off the B6265 Black Hill Road towards Skyreholme, turn right and go all round the hill ahead of you, but instead of looking to the right (where other carvings, described elsewhere, are found), turn left where the collapsed entrance to a mine-shaft is visible about 50 yards up the hill on the left. Walk up here, keeping to the right side of the collapsed mine, till you reach this rock.

Archaeology & History

Only for the purist petroglyph fanatics amongst you, the rock art students Boughey & Vickerman (2003) allege there to be four cup-markings here—and debatable ones at that—but we could really only make out the topmost cup, shown in the picture and an elongated one (which they think may have been two cups merged into one).  A faint “X” is also carved on the stone, possibly from the mining days.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian 

Skyreholme CR-405

loading map - please wait...

Skyreholme CR-405 54.057339, -1.888525 Skyreholme CR-405

Fancarl Top, Appletreewick, North Yorkshire

Stone Circle:  OS Grid Reference – SE 06432 63048

Also Known as:

  1. Appletreewick Stone Circle

Getting Here

1st edition OS-map - the unmarked circle's near the middle
1st edition OS-map – the unmarked circle’s near the middle

Along the B6265 road between Grassington and Pateley bridge, heading east, past the hamlet of Hebden, a mile or so on where the road goes uphill, stop where it levels out a bit (before it goes further uphill to Stump Cross), a half-mile before the rocky outcrop of Nursery Knott on the left (north) side of the road.  A gate into the field on the same side is what yer after, with a small disused quarry therein.  Go up here to the quarry-top and then walk uphill for literally 100 yards and the curious small ring is right there.

Archaeology & History

Appletreewick stone circle (courtesy Paul Daw)
Appletreewick stone circle (courtesy Paul Daw)

This small stone circle sitting on the grassy ridge overlooking the ritual rocks of Simon’s Seat and central Wharfedale to the south and the Yorkshire heathlands east and west, is probably not what it once was.  Overcome by the excess of industrial workings in the fields and moors all round here, it is probable that its present condition is far from its original state.  Indeed, if we move back to the 18th century, we find that place-name and map evidences tell us the site was a tomb.  The 1771 Greenwood map names the site as the Fancairn — an etymological curiosity in itself, possibly deriving from the ‘Windy Cairn’, which makes sense.  The place-name fell into its present title of ‘Fancarl’ after the great Ordnance Survey chaps came, heard dialect and went on their way…

The largest rock in the ring (courtesy Paul Daw)
The largest rock in the ring (courtesy Paul Daw)

The circle doesn’t appear to have been noted by the great Yorkshire historians Harry Speight and Edmund Bogg in their literary rambles here (rather odd), but was brought to our attention first of all (in a literary sense anyway) by Arthur Raistrick. (1965) He first “surveyed” the site in 1950, but said little until a short remark was printed in the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, where the notes told it to be one of “two stone circles, one with clear standing stones, 30ft in diameter, and the other a double circle of small recumbent stones, 12ft in diameter.”

Ground-plan & missing stones (by Paul Daw)
Ground-plan & missing stones (by Paul Daw)

The second, smaller double circle he mentions is probably a hut circle or cairn, faint traces of which are seen in the adjacent field.  Remains of a prehistoric enclosure were also once evident in the same field; and thankfully to the south (across the road) we can still find many examples of cup-and-rings at Skyreholme.

John Barnatt (1989) and Aubrey Burl (2000) include the site in their relative major surveys, with both of them citing the circle, of six small stones, to measure 8.5m by 7.5m.  The survey shown of this small stone ring was done by Paul Daw following his visit to the site on Monday 10th September 2012.

Folklore

Although we can only see six stones in this ring today, when the surveyor Paul Daw (2012) did a ground-plan of the place, he also did a dowsing survey of the site and found there were originally two extra stones on the eastern side of the circle. An archaeological dig would be interesting to see if post-holes or the remains of these two additional stones are under the turf.  He wrote:

My dowsing survey revealed that the stone circle measured 7.7 metres diameter (N-S) and 7.0 metres (E-W).  A reaction was received over the centres of stones 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8 indicating that they are still standing in their original positions, but stone number 5 to the south-south-east of the circle had a reaction at its northern end, which indicates that it was once standing but had fallen outwards. It is not therefore an earthfast stone, as speculated by A. Raistrick, when he visited the site.  The stone measures 1.65 m x 1.65 m x 800 mm and fans out like a shell from bottom to top. It would have been an impressive stone when standing, but was top heavy, and the most likely stone to fall.

Stones 1, 3, 6, and 8 are all of a similar size, are much more stable, and stand at about 500 mm high.  Stone 7 in the western sector is 800 mm high, and measures 950 mm x 850 mm, and looks like a rectangular block, with slightly rounded edges.

I also obtained a reaction at positions 2 and 4, indicating that there were once stones standing in these positions. To the north of the stone circle there are a number of stones lying on the surface.  A. Raistrick suggested that there may have been another small stone circle in this area, but my dowsing rods did not detect anything, and it is probable that these are random stones lying on the surface.

This entire region is bedevilled with faerie, goblin and giant lore, plus creation myths of our peasant ancestors (Sutcliffe 1929) — some still living if you’re lucky enough to talk with the old folk, who might tell you a thing or two, or might not, depending on how you smell.

References:

  1. Barnatt, John, The Stone Circles of Britain – 2 volumes, BAR: Oxford 1989.
  2. Burl, Aubrey, The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, Yale University Press 2000.
  3. Daw, Paul M., “Appletreewick Stone Circle, Yorkshire Dales,” unpublished survey report 2012.
  4. Raistrick, Arthur, ‘Yorkshire Archaeological Register 1964: Appletreewick, W.R.,’ in Yorkshire Archaeology Journal, volume 41, 1965.
  5. Smith, A.H., The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire – volume 6, Cambridge University Press 1963.
  6. Sutcliffe, Halliwell, The Striding Dales, Frederick Warne: London 1929.

AcknowledgementsHuge thanks to Paul Daw for his photos and survey of the site, and for sharing details of his dowsing results here.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  54.063337, -1.903222 Fancarl stone circle

High Green (407), Skyreholme, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07508 62599

Getting Here

Skyreholme Cup-marked rock 407
Skyreholme Cup-marked rock 407

Take the B6265 east out of Grassington, thru Hebden, for another 2 miles till you pass the tiny road down to Skyreholme on the right.  Another few hundred yards on, past Nussey Farm and Dry Gill house, park up and look for the track going south into the moors. Go down the track called Black Hill Road for a few hundred yards till y’ reach the gate on the right. A track bends downhill to the psilocybin-rich pastures of Nussey Green. Several hundred yards on, to the right-hand side of the track, we find this and its companions. Look around!

Archaeology & History

Quick sketch of design
Quick sketch of design

This medium-sized, recumbent standing-stone-shaped boulder has perhaps fifteen cup-markings on it.  It’s a plain carving with others of a similar ilk in the area.  First described by Stuart Feather in 1970 as one of “two cup-marked rocks” he found when ambling around; in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey they give it the wrong grid reference, though describe it correctly as a “long flat rock of irregular outline (with) fourteen to sixteen cups.” A cluster of other carvings are nearby, though some have been destroyed through mining operations.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart, “Appletreewick, W.R.,” in Yorkshire Archaeological Register, 1969, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, part 168, 1970.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

High Green CR-407

loading map - please wait...

High Green CR-407 54.059288, -1.886793 High Green CR-407

Eller Edge (429), Pock Stones Moor, Thruscross, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 0902 6150

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.429 (Boughey & Vickerman)
Eller Edge stone 429

Getting Here

A slight walk to get here.  Follow the same directions as if you’re going to the Eller Edge 431 carving.  Once here, walk west as if you’re going into the middle of the field, keeping your eyes peeled about 20 yards along for a small-ish rounded stone with nice colours of lichen amidst the grasses.  If you’re patient, you’ll find it soon enough!

Archaeology & History

This is another simple cup-marked stone on the grassland ridge overlooking higher Wharfedale.  The carving here is a little clearer and more well-defined than that of its close neighbours, with a number of simple cups visible on its rounded surface.  We counted seven such cups on our cloudy-day visit, but Boughey & Vickerman (2003) thought there might be a little more, describing the stone simply:

from another angle
B & V’s drawing

“Small lichen-covered rough grit rock.  About eight cups and two depressions.”

A rubbing of this small stone (as practiced by English Heritage and rock art students alike) would prove useful in bringing out any other ingredients in the ancient design.  And whilst you’re in this field, have a look at the curious Spiral Stone and some of the other cup-markings close by.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.

Links:

  1. Eller Edge Rock Art – more notes & images

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  54.049386, -1.863727 Eller Edge CR-429

Eller Edge (424), Pock Stones Moor, Thruscross, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 08973 61487

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.424 (Boughey & Vickerman)
Eller Edge carving 424
Eller Edge carving 424

Archaeology & History

A slight walk to get here, but well worth it once you arrive!  Follow the same directions as if you’re going to the Eller Edge 426 carving.  Once you reach this stone, notice the larger rounded rock about 20 yards to your west, a bit further down the field.  You can’t really miss it!

Archaeology & History

A large rounded stone just on the meadows before it begins to slope more steeply downhill, there are several of those large natural ‘bowls’ that we see on a lot of cup-marked and not-so-cup-marked stones in our northern hills.  These basins or bowls may, at times, may have had significance for our ancestors, but it’s the cluster of cup-markings on this stone which are of importance to us here.  There are perhaps as many as a dozen cup-marks here, all very well worn, and mostly to be seen on the eastern sides of the rock.  When I came here with Paul Hornby and QDanT a few months back, the cloud cover stayed with us all day, so I didn’t get any decent images of the carving.  Ne’er mind…

Close-up of faint cups

The stone was described by Boughey & Vickerman (2003) simply as:

“Very large, uneven, rough grit rock with face with scooped-out areas sloping down to grass.  Eleven possible cups and six basins.”

A plain carving, perhaps only of interest to the fanatics amongst you.  But if you do visit here, check out carving 432, 431, and others in the same field.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.

Links:

  1. Eller Edge Rock Art – more notes & images

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  54.049270, -1.864445 Eller Edge CR-424

Eller Edge (432), Pock Stones Moor, Thruscross, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 09078 61479

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.432 (Boughey & Vickerman)
Carving 432, close to the wall

Getting Here

A slight walk to get here.  Follow the same directions as if you’re going to the Eller Edge 426 carving, but as you reach the field edge, walk up the slope (in the field itself) along the side of the wall.  You’ll pass rudimentary Carving 431 and about 30 yards further uphill this little fella will catch your eye!  You can’t really miss it.

Archaeology & History

Another basic cup-marked stone that’s probably only gonna be of interest to the purists amongst you.  A single cup-marking sits on the edge of a small patch of old dark lichen, although the rock art students Boughey & Vickerman (2003) reckon there could be another two on here—but I aint so sure misself.  The stone was described by them simply as:

“Medium-sized rectanguar rock of medium gritstone, with vertical edges except for finely striated sloping W side.  One cup near possibly quarried edge and perhaps two more.”

Single faint cup-mark

Another single cup-marked stone of the same size, type and quality as this one can be found on another stone not far from this stone, which aint in the Boughey & Vickerman survey.  There’s also evidence of ancient lines of walling close by, but with little surface clues as to its age.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.

Links:

  1. Eller Edge Rock Art – more notes & images

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  54.049197, -1.862842 Eller Edge CR-432

Nussey Green (404), Appletreewick, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 0739 6254

Getting Here

Nussey Green CR404 (after ‘QDanT’)

Park at Stump Cross Caverns on the B6265 road, then walk down the road for 200 yards till you reach the track on your left running over the fields in the direction towards Simon’s Seat.  Walk on the track for about 600 yards until there’s a change of direction in the adjacent walling and then watch out for the dirt-track on your right, curving towards the small valley (if you hit the Skyreholme Wall carving (413), you’ve gone 100 yards past the turn-off). Go on here until you see the overgrown track on your left into a small disused quarry, and head right, down the grassy slope, checking out the few stones ion front of you 20 yards down.  You’re damn close!

Archaeology & History

Carving no.404 (after Boughey & Vickerman)

A simplistic carving that was first described by fellow antiquarian Stuart Feather (1964), this is one of at least four cup-marked stones in a small group here, above the valley of Skyreholme Beck — better known at this part of the valley as the Troller’s Ghyll, haunt of various heathen lore.  Although some of the carving has now been covered by the growing Earth, you can still see the majority of the design.

It is a flat, roughly triangular stone described by rock art students Boughey & Vickerman (2003) and having 13 cup-markings on it.  To get a full look at the entire carving, you may have to roll a bit of the turf away from one side of the rock.

Folklore

Although we have no lore relating to this specific carving, the small valley over which this carving looks was long known as the abode of the legendary bharguests, or black dogs: underworld creatures of earlier heathen myths.  Faerie lore can also be found a short distance further up the same stream.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart, “Yorkshire Archaeological Register 1963: Appletreewick, W.R.,” in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, volume 41, 1964.

Links:

  1. Nussey Green Rock Art – more notes & images

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Nussey Green CR-404

loading map - please wait...

Nussey Green CR-404 54.058759, -1.888597 Nussey Green CR-404

Eller Edge (431), Pock Stones Moor, Thruscross, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 09059 61506

Getting Here

From Appletreewick take the road east through Skyreholme and up Skyreholme Bank, bearing right at the fork in the tracks along the ancient Forest Road.  Keep going till you cross the Larnshaw Beck and keep walking along the track until it runs wallside.  Look over the wall and you’ll see this sloping-chair-shaped rock .  You’re here!

Cup-Marked stone 431

Archaeology & History

Worth looking at if you’re visiting the Spiral Stone of Eller Edge field and its large associate, but otherwise this cup-marked stone is probably only for the purist rock-art mad-folk amongst us!  There are what seem to be three decent cup-marks upon the sloping face of the rock here, with a possible pecked line to the side of two of them — though we have to consider the possibility that a geological condition is responsible for the easternmost cup.  Described in the Boughey & Vickerman (2003) survey simply as:

“Large triangular rock of smooth gritstone, quarried at SE and sloping into ground at W and N.  Three cups on top sloping face.”

Thirty yards up the slope along the wall-side you’ll find carving 432 with its single cup-marking.

 

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.

Links:

  1. Eller Edge Rock Art – more notes & images

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  54.049440, -1.863131 Eller Edge CR-431

Eller Edge (426), Pock Stones Moor, Thruscross, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 08991 61486

Also Known as:

  1. Spiral Stone
Spiral Stone with cluster of cups (image © QDanT)

Getting Here

A slight walk to get here, but well worth it once you arrive!  From Appletreewick, take the road east through Skyreholme and up Skyreholme Bank track, bearing right at the fork in the tracks along the ancient Forest Road.  Keep going and after a couple of zigzags, you’ll cross the Larnshaw Beck.  Keep walking along the track until it runs wallside — and here, go straight down the field for 75 yards (best climbing over the rickety wooden bridge by the stream 50 yards back and walking up).  Although there are a number of other stones hereby, you can’t really miss this.

Archaeology & History

This carved stone and its close associates rest upon the green slopes overlooking the Blands Valley and further across upper Wharfedale and the lands beyond.  The majestic Simon’s Seat rises on the nearby western slope and there in the greater distance, once more reaches the sacred hill of Pendle, with whom so many other ancient sites commune within our northern lands.  It’s hard to say for sure that the Witch’s Hill was of little relevance to this and other stones, but only a fool would ignore the geomancer’s notes about this constant.

Eller Edge carving, looking south (image © QDanT)
Boughey & Vickerman’s drawing

The carving here doesn’t give much clues in any direct sense either.  We have an almost arrowhead-shaped rock with a dozen decent cup-marks or so cut along and near its western side; but the notable curiosity here is the small circular cluster of smaller cup-marks dotted in a near circular mass near the middle of the stone.

When Danny, Paul and I came here the other week, the initial impression of this cluster was one of a primitive solar symbol etched onto the rock; but the more we looked, the more it seemed that these small cups appeared to have been arranged in a very rough spiral lay-out.  Now I know that spirals are damn rare items in rock art (especially in this part of the world), but the more we looked and then subsequently checked Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) illustration, the more evident it became.  Of course the ‘spiral’ could be merely fortuitous, but I’m not so sure misself.  In discussing this with our field archaeologist later, he suggested getting a rubbing of this part of the stone on his next visit.

The stone was first described by the petroglyph explorer Stuart Feather (1964) and later described by the rock art students Boughey & Vickerman (2004), simply as:

“Large, rough grit rock with face sloping SE down into grass at N.  About twenty cups to W, with three grooves at N corner and group of about twenty small cups at NE.”

A very intriguing carving.  And if you visit here, make sure you check out carving 424 and others in the same field.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart, “Appletreewick, WR,” in ‘Archaeological Register, 1963’, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, volume 41, 1964.

Links:

  1. Eller Edge Rock Art – more notes & images

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  54.049261, -1.864170 Eller Edge CR-426