Longbarrow Field, Timble, North Yorkshire

Cairn (lost):  OS Grid Reference — SE 18 53

Archaeology & History

Described in the Field Lore of Timble village by William Grainge (1895) are the names and short histories of some of the local place-names—with this in particular standing out like a veritable sore thumb!  Quite plainly, as Grainge told us,

“The name ‘Longbarrows’ is indicative of some burial mounds of a very early day.  None exist at present.  The land is under the plough, and is about the best in the township.”

But I cannot locate the position of this long-lost site and it’s not shown on any of the early OS-maps hereby.  Grainge said that the land on which it once stood was owned by a local farmer called Charles Dickinson, who leased it out to others.  He wrote:

“Dickinson had in Longbarrows 3 roods* and 23 perches*, and William Jackson’s share in Longbarrows was 1 acre, 3 roods and 21 perches.  Besides these, John Ward of Nether Timble had 1 rood and 17 perches int he same field, a long narrow slip without fence, between Dickinson’s and Jackson’s lots.”

Does anyone know where this was?  One of my suspects is the gathering place of the Fewston witches, a half-mile south of the village; but no remains of anything can be found there today and I may just be barking up the wrong tree.

The area south and west of here is rich in little-known prehistoric heritage, from the cairn-fields of Askwith Moor, the cairn circle at Snowden Crags, the settlements of Snowden Carr and the extensive petroglyphs all over the place!  Giants cairns of the early Bronze Age and neolithic period were also once more numerous upon the moors to the west and south, so the former existence of a long barrow in Timble is not unusual.  But where was it?!

References:

  1. Grainge, William, The History and Topography of the Townships of Little Timble, Great Timble and the Hamlet of Snowden, William Walker: Otley 1895.

*  A rood is an English unit of area, equal to a quarter of an acre or 10,890 square feet; a perch was a more variable unit of measure, being lengths of 1612, 18, 21, 24 and 25 square feet.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian 

 

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  53.972332, -1.726953 Longbarrows Field

Sunrise Stone (605), Snowden Crags, Askwith, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 18066 51251

Also Known as:

  1. Carving 605
  2. Northern Earth Mysteries Stone

Getting Here

Sunrise Stone, Snowden Carr

Sunrise Stone, Snowden Carr

Take the same directions as if you’re going to visit the Naked Jogger Carving (stone 612), not far from the well-known Tree of Life Stone.  From the Naked Jogger carving, walk up the small outcrop of rocks that bends above you.  Barely 100 yards up when you reach the top, you’ll notice a single large sloping stone barely 50 yards ahead of you in the same field.  That’s the spot!

Archaeology & History

This is a little-known beauty of a carving just off the edge of the quiet moors that are littered with prehistoric remains.  It was only rediscovered a few years ago — by myself if you believed the writings of rock art student Keith Boughey (2010) in his essay on the validity of amateurs exploring petroglyphs, in a work scattered with mistakes.  But I’d never even visited this carving until two years ago!  The stone was in fact found during a field-walk by early members of the Northern Earth Mysteries group in August 1989 (Wilson 1990) and subsequently described and illustrated for the first time by Phil Reeder (1990).

Close-up of main cluster

Close-up of main cluster

As can be seen in the photos accompanying this site profile, the rock on which the carving has been done has, at some point in the past, been cut into and its edges have been hacked away and destroyed, literally cutting into the overall design.  We have no idea what the original size of the stone was, obviously, but this petroglyph was once larger than the design that we see at present.  Such is the price of ‘progress’, as some folk call it.

Anyway – a few months after the carving was rediscovered, Phil Reeder (1990) wrote:

“After a visit to the Tree of Life stone…a cursory inspection by the NEM Group was made on nearby rock outcrops, part of which showed evidence of recent exposure due to soil erosion.

“One stone in particular stood out as five shallow cups and associated rings could be discerned.  When cleaned, it became apparent that further carvings extended beneath a thin eroding soil layer.  When this layer was cleared, a complex set of carvings were revealed.

“Only preliminary work at the site has been carried out to date, but it appears that the carvings comprise of at least 28 cups, 13 of which have associated rings; several of the cups are linked by gutters forming an intricate design, one gutter part enclosing 11 cups.  The carvings on the lower edge of the stone have weathered badly and are difficult to interpret.”

Reeder’s amateur description is a good one. Certainly more accurate than the subsequent one by Boughey & Vickerman (2003):

“Large rock of coarse grit whose surface slopes with the hill. About forty cups, some large, many with single rings, and many curving grooves, the whole forming a remarkable, complex design.”

Phil Reeder's 1990 drawing

Phil Reeder’s 1990 drawing

Boughey & Vickerman's sketch

Boughey & Vickerman’s sketch

We can see in the respective drawings by both Reeder (left) and Boughey & Vickerman (right) that some elements which should have been included in the ‘official’ drawing were missed, yet had been accurately included in the earlier ‘preliminary’ drawing, as Mr Reeder put it.  I hope that readers will forgive me pointing out these seemingly minor elements; but I do it to illustrate the ineffectiveness of more recent rock art students who are gaining the title of ‘experts’ in this field.  It’s important to recognise that, in this field of study, “experts” are few and far between indeed… I’ve certainly yet to meet any!

Northern end of carving

Northern end of carving

Southern side of carving

Southern side of carving

The carving is mentioned briefly in Beckensall’s (1999) introductory study, with little comment.  But of note here is not only the curious linear feature running between two cup-and-rings, but the position of the stone in the landscape.  For if you sit either upon or next to this carving, you are looking east straight across the gorgeous Fewston valley directly at the prominent wooded hill of Sword Point.  As it slopes down into the present-day greenery of fields and scattered woods, the Wharfe Valley spreads out to the distant east and, as the sun rises and scatters its rays onto the wet morning stone here, the design on the rock awakens with much greater visual lucidity than that which our daytime eyes bestow to us.  In all likelihood, sunrise was an important element in whatever mythic function underscored this curious carving, with its human-like figure rising on its southern side, emerging from the edge of the rock, personifying perhaps the rising solar disc and the living landscape as the daylight breath awoke Earth’s creatures; or maybe it signifies a symbolic group of people gathered together watching the sunrise…

Of course, I’m dreaming…

References:

  1. Barnett, T. & Sharpe, K. (eds.), Carving a Future for British Rock Art, Oxbow: Oxford 2010.
  2. Beckensall, Stan, British Prehistoric Rock Art, Tempus: Stroud 1999.
  3. Boughey, Keith, “The Role of the Amateur in the Study of UK Prehistoric Cup-and-Ring Art,” in Barnett & Sharpe, Oxford 2010.
  4. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  5. Chappell, Graeme, “North Yorkshire Rock Art – New Discoveries,” in Northern Earth, no.62, 1995.
  6. Michell, John, The Earth Spirit, Thames & Hudson: London 1975.
  7. Reeder, Phil, “Snowden Carr Rock Carvings,” in Northern Earth Mysteries, no.40, 1990.
  8. Wilson, Rob, “Pateley Bridge Gathering,” in Northern Earth Mysteries, 40, 1990.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Sunrise Stone CR-605

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Sunrise Stone CR-605 53.957037, -1.726171 Sunrise Stone CR-605

Snowden Carr carving (610), Askwith, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 18105 51210

Getting Here

Snowden Carr carving 610

From Otley, take the road north across the River Wharfe up and up, heading towards Askwith Moor.  As the moorland opens up ahead of you, at the crossroads turn right along Snowden Carr Road and literally ¾-mile along (1.25km) where a track on your right goes to Carr Farm, on the left-side of the road is a gate.  Go through here to the Naked Jogger Stone and walk up the rocky ridge ahead of you, alongside the walling (as if you’re going to the Sunrise Stone), and about 20-30 yards up you’ll reach this carving.

Archaeology & History

Best visited on a clear day, this is one carving amidst a small cluster of cup-marked petroglyphs found along the small geological ridge between the Sunrise Stone and Naked Jogger carving (none of which are as impressive as those two!).  This particular design consists of a number of faint cup-marks— between 17 and 25 of them—reaching along the horizontal surface, with no distinct formal pattern, as usual.  The carving continues beneath the encroaching soil.

Looking down at the carving
Archaeo-sketch

It seems to have been described for the first time by Stuart Feather (1973); then subsequently in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey, in which they attach a single cup-marking on an adjacent rock into the matrix of this design—but the two rock surfaces are distinctly separate.  This apart, their description tells, briefly as always: “Large long rock which may be outcrop, with hill falling away steeply below. Seventeen worn cups.”

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart, “Askwith, W.Yorkshire,” in ‘Yorkshire Archaeological Register’, Yorkshire Archaeology Journal, volume 45, 1973.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian 

Snowden Carr CR-610

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Snowden Carr CR-610 53.956668, -1.725579 Snowden Carr CR-610

Picketts Beck East, Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1708 5054 —  NEW FIND

Getting Here

Cup-and-ring stone in situ
Cup-and-ring stone in situ

From the Askwith Moor Road parking spot, head across the road and take the directions to the Woman Stone carving about 510 yards (467m) across the moors to the west.  From here, look straight down the slope and head towards the largest boulder at the bottom, 20-30 yards away.  About 10-20 yards to the right of this, zigzag about in the vegetation until you find the small stone amidst the bracken.  You’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

This small stone, whose natural contours and cracks have been utilised in the design of the petroglyph, may once have been part of a prehistoric tomb, perhaps rolled or thrown downhill from the nearby Askwith Moor Cairnfield.  I say this due to the size and portability of the stone, i.e., it’s small and barely earthfast, giving an increased likelihood that its present position was not its original one.  But we might never know…

Rough sketch of the design
Rough sketch of the design
Close-up of the carving
Close-up of the carving

It’s almost archetypal in design, being a primary cup-and-ring, with what appears to be a faint inner ring etched marginally within the larger notable incomplete circle, just an inch beyond the inner central cup.  From this same cup runs a carved line, out to the near edge of the small stone.  Single cup-marks occur on the edges of the rock, as can be seen in the photos: three, possibly four of them.  One of the cups, where the stone narrows to a rounded point, may also have had a partial ring around it.  When we found this stone a few weeks ago, the day was grey and overcast and the light was poor, so our photos do not highlight the carving too well.

(Note: the OS grid-reference for this stone is an approximation: pretty damn close, but not close enough. If someone ventures here and can get the exact grid-ref, we’d be most grateful.)

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Pickets Beck CR

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Pickets Beck CR 53.950681, -1.741236 Pickets Beck CR

Wester Cairnfield (02), Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1698 5070

Getting Here

Faint cupmarks clearly visible
Faint cupmarks clearly visible

From the Askwith Moor Road parking spot, head west to the Askwith Moor cairnfield. Keep walking west, going downhill past the main cluster of rocks.  If you begin zigzagging amidst the heather hereby, you’ll eventually come across this relatively small stone which, even when the heather is deep, thankfully rises to the surface.  The Wester Cairnfield 1 carving is close by.

Archaeology & History

Although I presumed that Graeme Chappell and I found this petroglyph when we surveyed the area in the 1990s, I cannot find an early account of it in my files, so must presume that when James Elkington, James Turner and I came across it a few weeks ago, it was the first view of the stone in many a century… It’s another simple carving, only of interest to the mad rock art hunters out there.

...and from another angle
…and from another angle

When we first found it, it seemed to me (with the sunlight effects on the stone) that two cup-marks had been etched here; but as Mr Elkington pointed out, from the angle he was looking at the stone, there were another two.  He was right.  But it’s nothing special to look at, sadly, and is probably only of interest to the real hardcore petroglyph nutters amongst you. (please note that the grid-ref for this carving needs revising and may be 50 yards either side of the one given)

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Wester Cairnfield CR-2

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Wester Cairnfield CR-2 53.952122, -1.742751 Wester Cairnfield CR-2

Wester Cairnfield (01), Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 16966 50674

Getting Here

Cup-mark near top-right
Cup-mark near top-right

From the Askwith Moor Lane parking site, take the directions to the Askwith Moor Cairnfield.  Walk westwards for about 100 yards down the gradual slope, towards the boggy land below, but before reaching the reeds, still in the moorland heather, there are a scatter of rocks.  Just keep zigzagging about until you find it. It’s a reasonably large stone.

Archaeology & History

'Cup mark' on vertical face
‘Cup mark’ on vertical face

This is one of several simple cup-marked stones found down the slopes about 100 yards west of the Askwith Moor Cairnfield.  When James Elkington, James Turner and I re-surveyed this area again recently, I wondered whether it was a newbie or had already been located when Graeme Chappell and I did our tedious surveying of this region in the 1990s—and it turned out that we did!  The carving is nothing special to look at, even if you’re a petroglyph zealot.  Comprising of a distinct single cup-mark on the top nose of the rock, another is visible on the vertical south face, and another possible is on its eastern face.

1894 map of shooting target
1894 map of shooting target

When we look at the early maps of this area, we find that to the north and south of this stone once existed ‘Shooting Houses’.  As we can see on the attached map, the position of one of the shooting targets is very close to the location of this stone and so we must conclude that the cups on the vertical face were done by gunshot and are not prehistoric. However, the distinct cup on top of the stone retains its prehistoric link.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Wester Cairnfield CR-1

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Wester Cairnfield CR-1 53.951889, -1.742966 Wester Cairnfield CR-1

Lower Lanshaw Stone (02), Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 16059 50875

Getting Here

Lanshaw cup-and-ring nearby
Lanshaw cup-and-ring stone

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.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Lower Lanshaw CR-2

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Lower Lanshaw CR-2 53.953724, -1.756776 Lower Lanshaw CR-2

Snowden Carr Carving (569), Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 17746 50923

Getting Here

Inma’s Drawing of the Carving

Takes a bitta finding unless you’ve got a GPS system, or someone like me to show you where it is! The best way’s probably via the Askwith Moor Road car park, up the road 160 yards till you hit the straight line cut into the moor on your right, where the landscape’s been damaged.*  Walk along this for less than 100 yards, then walk right, through the heather and onto the singular tree roughly 200 yards away.  From here, walk 75 yards (strides) north from the tree.  You’re damn close!

Archaeology & History

About 20 feet from a line of ancient walling in an area pretty rich in prehistoric sites, is this medium-sized stone with a lovely cup-and-ring design.  The carving was first recorded by fellow antiquarian, Eric Cowling (1937), in his short survey of other carved stones in the area.  He called this ‘carving no.7’ and described it, thus:

“In the central area of Snowden Carr is a barrow group, which occupies a slight ridge running from the edge of the bog to the east, almost to the moor road on the west.  The ridge is almost devoid of vegetation except at the higher end.  Here, on a heather-covered boulder, is marking no.7.  The cups are smaller than usual, and only one ring completely surrounds a cup.  The lines linking the cups are only lightly incised, and the whole marking has a delicate appearance.”

Old photo of the carving
Cowling’s 1937 drawing

I first visited this stone in the 1980s with fellow rock art student and author, Graeme Chappell, and for some reason it has always impressed me (I recall Graeme laughing whilst I made joyous noises and stroked the rock, reverentially!).  Cowling’s description of the stone as ‘delicate’ is appealing, as the stone and its design has a nurturing aspect to it, female in nature. (forgive me — but many of these stones tend to capture me in such ways!)  The stone was described more clinically in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) more recent survey as follows:

“Fairly large, flat, smooth grit rock with crack.  Up to seventeen possible cups, one with complete ring, one with partial ring, one with possible ring; connecting groove.”

Doesn’t quite capture the feel of the place, which I’m sure they’d admit.  The next time I’m up here, I’ll get some better photos of the carving.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Cowling, E.T., ‘A Classification of West Yorkshire Cup and Ring Stones,’ in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 1940.
  3. Cowling, E.T., Rombald’s Way: A Prehistory of Mid-Wharfedale, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  4. Cowling, E.T. & Hartley, C.A., ‘Cup and Ring Markings to the North of Otley,’ in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 33, 1937.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Huge thanks to one of my fine ladies, Inmaculada Ibanez-Sanchez, for the drawing! Cheers Inma!

* A pipeline was laid across the moor here, and subsequent work (I presume by the same company) was done again in early 2011, cutting through and damaging several prehistoric monuments and destroying at least one prehistoric cairn.  An archaeological survey of the region should have been done before any work proceeded here, but I’m unaware of any such excavations, or archaeological reports preceding or concurrent to the ecological and historical damage performed.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Snowden Carr CR-569

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Snowden Carr CR-569 53.954101, -1.731066 Snowden Carr CR-569

Snowden Carr Carving (603), Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 17993 51112

Getting Here

Snowden Carr carving 603

From Askwith village go up the Moor Lane and at the crossroads go straight across (Snowden Moor is across left).  Go down and along Snowden Carr Road until the road levels out and, watch carefully, about 500 yards on from the crossroads on your left you’ll see a small crag of rocks in the fields above.  Stop and go through the gate walking up the field and as you near the top you’ll see a gate across to your left that leads onto the moor.  Go through this and on the path which veers up to the right up to the Tree of Life Stone.  About 20 yards along, keep your eyes peeled just off-path, to the left, where a small rounded stone hides at the edge.

Archaeology & History

This was one of a number of cup-markings that Graeme Chappell and I came across in the early 1990s, though it didn’t receive any literary attention until included in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey.  It’s only a small fella, consisting of just six or seven cups on its upper rounded surface — though what may be a carved line runs round the southern side of the stone.  It seems to have been associated with a small cairn close by (a common feature on these moors) and adjacent prehistoric settlement walling.  In Boughey & Vickerman’s text, they gave the following notes:

“Small rock with rounded surface at ground level, near scattered cairn. Seven or eight cups, possible grooves at edge.”

Drawing of the stone (Boughey & Vickerman)

[You’ll notice in the photo above that the local phantom painter had been here again, artistically highlighting the cup-marks.  The photos we took were done earlier this year, when the paint (or whatever it is) was first noted.  It had not been painted-in the previous autumn.  But most notably is the fact that this carved stone has never previously appeared on the internet (until today) and the only other reference to it is in the standard Boughey & Vickerman text.  This would indicate that whoever it is that’s painting the carvings up and down mid-Wharfedale possesses a copy of that text, aswell as being relatively new to the subject of rock art.]

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Snowden Carr CR-603

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Snowden Carr CR-603 53.955791, -1.727291 Snowden Carr CR-603

Weston Moor (543), North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 18521 49406

Getting Here

Weston Moor cup-and-rings (after ‘QDanT’)

Get yourself to the impressive multi-ringed Greystone Allotment carving, then walk to the copse of trees close by and bear left, following the edge of the fence along and following it when it turns down at right-angles, until you hit the bottom corner of the trees, where a path cuts in front of you.  From the bottom corner of the trees walk 25-30 yards diagonally away from the trees.  It’s under your nose somewhere damn close!

Archaeology & History

This is another archetypal cup-and-ring stone, similar in size and design to the recently discovered Slade (02) carving on Blubberhouses Moor, just over 4 miles (6.5 km) northwest (followers of Alexander Thom’s megalithic inch theory might be interested in assessing the measure of these two).   It is one of number clustered in and around this small grass ‘moorland’ region, where a number of carvings perished in the 19th century.  Thankfully this one survived.  Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) brief notes on the stone tell:

“Small, rough grit rough of regular oblong shape set very low in turf.  Two cups, each with a ring, and connected by a groove.”

On a recent visit to see this carving, Danny Tiernan, Paul Hornby, James Elkington and I were unable to locate it.  The carving may well have been destroyed, or moved.  If anyone is aware of what has happened to this petroglyph, please let us know.  We will be contacting the local authorities to see if any explanation is forthcoming from them.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, West Yorkshire Archaeology Service 2003.

Links:

  1. Weston Moor Rock Art – more notes & images

Weston Moor CR-543

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Weston Moor CR-543 53.940439, -1.719348 Weston Moor CR-543

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian