Dowley Gap, Bingley, West Yorkshire

Cist (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 1196 3824

Archaeology & History

The remains of a prehistoric tomb existed near the foot-bridge on the south-side of the canal at Dowley Gap, but was destroyed during the building of the sewage works there in 1951.  It was reported by a Mr Duncanson to Bradford’s Cartwright Hall archaeology group, who told how they accidentally uncovered it during construction work.  He told that “stone cist (was) about 3½ feet long and 1½ feet deep and was found on rising ground at the western end of the works where the storm water tanks are now situated.”

We obviously don’t know the age of the cist, but such grave monuments are most commonly Bronze Age.  The existence of the Crosley Wood Iron Age enclosure 4-500 yards NNW and the prehistoric circle 800 yards east are the nearest other known early period monuments.

References:

  1. Jackson, Sidney, “Stone Cist at Bingley,” in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin, 3:6, 1958.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.840274, -1.819726 Dowley Gap

Heygate Stone, Baildon, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 15942 40187

Archaeology & History

Heygate Stone

This excellent cup-and-ring marked petroglyph was found fortuitously in September 2001 by the land-owner at Near Hey Gate field to the northeast of Baildon village.  He was clearing out remains of some old walling in the field and, adjacent, a rock that was protruding out of the ground got turned over.  Underneath it he noticed a series of very well-preserved cups and rings in a cluster near one part of the rock.  It was a bittova beauty to be honest!

Thankfully due to the subsequent efforts of local rock art students Mike Short and Keith Boughey, it was later re-housed in the Brackenhall Centre at the edge of Shipley Glen.

Enhanced rendition of Keith Boughey’s Heygate Stone rubbing
Computer-enhanced image of the carving

The stone itself was once larger than it now is and may have had additional carved elements on it, but the other portion that had broken off wasn’t located when it was first dug out of the ground.  This may mean that it was moved here from another location, which would have been somewhere close by.  Many other petroglyphs exist in and around the Baildon district.As we can see in the images here, two very well-defined double cup-and rings have clusters of smaller singular cup-and-rings around their edges.  A single cup-mark was etched below the largest of the double-ring carving, and what seems like a carved straight line emerges from the largest of the single cup-and-ring.

References:

  1. Griffiths, Kathie, “Historic Stone Back Home on Moors,” in Telegraph & Argus, 11 November, 2006.
  2. Short, Mike, “The Heygate Stone,” on Megalithic Portal, 21 November, 2006.

Acknowledgements:  Big thanks to Mike Short for his info and to Keith Boughey whose rubbing I’ve touched-up and used in the site profile.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.857685, -1.759099 Heygate Stone

Toad Stones, Baildon Moor, West Yorkshire

Ring Cairn:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1305 4004

Getting Here

Much overgrown Toad Stones ring

Much overgrown Toad Stones ring

From the double-ring that is the Brackenhall Circle at Shipley Glen, go up the road towards the hills and seek out the cup-marked Glovershaw Quarry Stone.  Shortly before this, notice the small trees close the quarry edge.  From here, walk straight east, as if you’re going toward Baildon Hill.  Barely 10 yards into the bracken you’ll notice this small ring of stones (best looked for in winter before the bracken grows back – otherwise you’ve no chance!).

Archaeology & History

This site was explored when James Elkington, Paul Hornby and I came across it on Wednesday, 11 March 2015, after returning from a short excursion to look at some of the petroglyphs on Baildon Hill.

Ostensibly it is a small ring of stones comprising of at least 7 large rocks that are set deeply into the peat and bracken-mass, with a small eighth movable stone on the northern side.  It seemed likely that another, larger rock was beneath this small portable rock, but we didn’t dig into the vegetative mound to explore this.  The most curious thing about the ring of stones was that it measured barely 4 yards in diameter.  My initial thought was that this was a previously unrecorded cairn, but there seemed to be no internal mass of rocks in the centre that characterize such monuments and which you’d expect in a ring of this size – meaning that it may be, perhaps, the smallest stone circle in Britain.  It’s a pretty good contender at least! (the stone circle known as “Circle 275” at Penmaenmawr in Wales is of similar size to this one, but with less stones in that ring)

Close-up of the stones

Close-up of the stones

It would be good if the regional archaeologists could give this site their attention and clean it up to see exactly what lays beneath the boscage.  Close by are several cup-marked stones and a couple of other larger cairn circles.

The name of the site came after I almost stood on a hibernating toad, found beneath the bracken-mass right at the edge of one of the stones.  I carefully picked him up and reburied him in another spot close by, leaving him (perhaps) to ponder his venture into the bright daylight of consciousness!  Mr Hornby promptly declared – “these are the Toad Stones!” – and it stuck.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.856426, -1.803085 Toad Stones cairn

Baildon Moor Carving (130), West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13077 40097

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.11 (Hedges)
  2. Central Design Stone

Getting Here

Baildon Moor carving

Baildon Moor carving

Take the directions to find the Glovershaw Quarry carving,or the Baildon Moor 126 carving and the newly-found Toad Stones circle, and zigzag about in the bracken when it’s down at the end of Winter (forget it from summertime onwards!).  You’re damn close.

Archaeology & History

A carving that I first visited when I was a child – but one which, curiously, caught my attention.  The small arc of four cup-marks that you can see on the stone was an integral feature of other carvings in this particular region—though not all, of course.  It seemed to me at the time that it had symbolic significance, as the arc occurred in a number of other Baildon petroglyphs.  Astronomy was my fetish at that time and so I saw the arc as solar or stellar movements across the sky, represented by the cup-markings.  It was one of many fascinating Rorschach’s that I encountered, just as rock art students across the world do when looking at these ancient carvings. However, the simple symbolism of this and similar nearby carvings has stuck and plays under my skin somewhat: one of those curious non-egoic tickles, constantly nudging away, as if there’s something in it, but being looked at from the wrong angle…

CR130dr

John Hedges 1986 sketch

Looking down at the cups

Looking down at the cups

Anyway… All we have here is a primary design of four cup-marks reaching across a small earthfast stone.  Other simple carvings are found close by and there are the remains of several prehistoric cairns circles within a few hundred yards.  Beneath the deep bracken-mass, it is highly probable that other ancient remains remain hidden.

The carving was first recognised in one of Sidney Jackson’s (1958) archaeology bimbles in the 1950s with his bunch of northern antiquarians from Cartwright Hall, Bradford. It later found its way into the survey of John Hedges (1986) where he described it, simply:

“Small, lozenge-shaped, smooth grit rock, sloping NW-SE into grass and bracken, four symmetrical cups in slight curve.”

References:

  1. Baildon, W. Paley, Baildon and the Baildons – parts 1-15, Adelphi: London 1913-1926.
  2. Bennett, Paul, Of Cups and Rings and Things, unpublished: Shipley 1981.
  3. Bennett, Paul, Megalithic Ramblings between Ilkley and Baildon, unpublished: Shipley 1982.
  4. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  5. Cowling, Eric T., Rombald’s Way, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  6. Hedges, John, The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  7. Jackson, Sidney, “Cup-Marked Boulders, Baildon Moor,” in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin, 3:2, 1958.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Baildon Moor CR-130

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Baildon Moor CR-130 53.856937, -1.802673 Baildon Moor CR-130

Acrehowe Cross, Baildon Moor, West Yorkshire

Cross (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 14390 40601

Also Known as:

  1. Rerehowe Cross

Archaeology & History

‘Rerehowe’ cross on 1852 map

Once found on the other side of the road from the prehistoric circle of Acrehowe Hill, this old cross was destroyed sometime in the first half of the 19th century by one of the stewards to the Lady of the Manor of Baildon, a Mr Walker.  It’s unlikely that Mr Walker would have performed this act without direct orders from the Lady of the Manor, so the destruction should really be laid at the feet of the land-owner, who’ve got a habit of destroying archaeological sites up and down the land, even today.

Found near the crown of a small hill on the horizon whether you’re coming from Eldwick- or Baildon-side, the cross was erected (probably between the 12th and 14th centuries) amidst a cluster of heathen burials and cup-and-rings, many of which would have been known by local peasants as having old lore or superstitions about them.  So the church commandeered this spot, desacralized it and no doubt enacted profane rites around it under the auspice of some spurious christian law.  They did that sorta thing with every non-christian site they ever came across—or simply vandalised it, much as many of them still do today.  Sadly we know not the exact history of the old cross: whether it was an old standing stone on the crown of this hill which they defaced and made into a cross, or whether they erected their own monument, we’ll never know.  But the idea of a once-proud monolith standing here is a strong possibility, considering its position in the landscape and the stone rings of Pennythorn and Acrehowe close by (cup-and-ring stones such as carving no.184 are also close by).

The cross itself once gained an additional incorrect title by the cartographers of the period, who named it Rerehowe Cross—but this was simply a spelling mistake and its newly-found title didn’t last long. The local industrial historian William Cudworth (1876) described the lost cross in his large work, where he told that,

“many of the inhabitants can remember and point out the exact spot where it stood, and no doubt could find some of the stones of which it was composed. It was destroyed by one of the overseers and a large portion of it used for fence stones.”

Harry Speight (a.k.a. ‘Johnnie Gray’) and others also mentioned the passing of this old stone, but give no additional information.

Folklore

In William Cudworth’s description of this site he told how “the village tradition is that it was put up in commemoration of a great battle that was fought on the Moor” at Baildon; but W.P. Baildon (1913) thought this was unlikely.  Instead, he cited an 1848 Name Book reference dug out by W.E. Preston, which told that on the summit of Acrehowe Hill,

“Here stood a cross which, according to traditional evidence was erected at the period that markets were held at Baildon, in consequence of a plague which prevented the country people from visiting the village with provisions, etc.  The site of its base is very apparent, being circular, about 8 feet in diameter.  A large flag stone  with the stump of the cross remaining in its centre, was pulled up and destroyed by Mr Walker (Baildon Hall) a few years since.”

References:

  1. Baildon, W. Paley, Baildon and the Baildons (parts 1-15), St. Catherines: Adelphi 1913-26.
  2. Bennett, Paul, The Old Stones of Elmet, Capall Bann: Milverton 2001.
  3. Colls, J.M.N., ‘Letter upon some Early Remains Discovered in Yorkshire,’ in Archaeologia, volume 31, 1846.
  4. Cudworth, William, Round about Bradford, Thomas Brear: Bradford 1876.
  5. Gray, Johnnie, Through Airedale from Goole to Malham, Walker & Laycock: Leeds 1891.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Acrehowe Cross

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Acrehowe Cross 53.861433, -1.782688 Acrehowe Cross

Baildon Moor Carving (173), West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13844 40347

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.40 (Hedges)

Getting Here

The lovely ‘Carving 173’, Baildon Moor

From Baildon go up onto the moor, turning left to go round Baildon Hill and onto Eldwick, stopping at the car park at the top of the brow. Cross the road and walk along past carving 184, making sure you keep right sticking to the footpath that runs along the edge of the slope (not onto the flats & up to Baildon Hill itself). There are several carvings along here, but this one’s on the right-side of the widening path, another 300 yards past carving 184. Keep your eyes peeled – y’ can’t really miss it!

Archaeology & History

Carving 173, looking south

In my 1982 notebook I described this as “a very well-preserved cup-and-ring stone, with two cup-and-rings and seven other cup-marks. There seems to be faint remains of other lines carved by some of the cups.”  And the description is as apt today as it was back then – though neither of the surrounding ‘rings’ are complete.  However, as the photos here indicate, adjacent to the main cup-and-ring near the centre of the stone another incomplete cup-and-ring is evident, emerging from the natural crack that runs across it.  In the subsequent surveys of Hedges (1986) and Boughey & Vickerman (2003) they somehow only saw one cup-and-ring on this rock.  Easily done I suppose!  In certain light there’s what may have been an attempted second surrounding ring starting on one of the cups…but I’ll leave that for a later date…

CR-173 (after Hedges)
Slippery when wet!

There may also have been intent to carve another ring around one of the other cups on the northern half of the stone.  This possible fourth ring and its position on the stone potentiates solar symbolism (not summat I’m keen on, tbh), which fits into the position and nature of several other cup-and-rings in this region and which I’ll expand on and highlight a little later on.  It is important to remember that this petroglyph and its nearby relatives were once accompanied by a series of tumuli, or prehistoric burial mounds: a feature that is not uncommon in this part of the world.  Well worth having a look at!

…to be continued…

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, Megalithic Ramblings between Ilkley and Baildon, unpublished: Shipley 1982.
  2. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
  3. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  4. Morris, Ronald W.B., “The Prehistoric Rock Art of Great Britain: A Survey of All Sites Bearing Motifs more Complex than Simple Cup-marks,” in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, volume 55, 1989.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Baildon Moor CR-173

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Baildon Moor CR-173 53.859165, -1.791001 Baildon Moor CR-173

Baildon Moor Carving (184), West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 14124 40447

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.46 (Hedges)
Carving 184, Baildon Moor

Getting Here

From Baildon, take the road up onto the moors, turning left to go round Baildon Hill, then park-up at the small car-park on the brow of the hill at the edge of the golf course.  Cross the road and take the well-trod footpath diagonally right, heading onto Baildon Moor.  Walk along here for 300 yards and notice the large stone just to your right. You can’t really miss it!

Archaeology & History

Close-up of cups & faded ring

Listed without real comment in several surveys, this large sloping rock that looks over the north and western landscapes of Rombald’s Moor and beyond, has several simple cup-markings on its surface, one with a faded ring surrounding a cup.  In more recent centuries, someone began to add their own etching onto the stone but, thankfully, stopped before defacing the ancient markings.  I noted this carving in one of my early notebooks, saying only that it “lacked the central design found in others from this region,” being little more than a (seemingly) disorganized array of several marks.

Hedges 1986 drawing

A greater number of other carved stones scatter the grassy flatlands west and south of here, some of which are found in association with prehistoric cairns and lines of walling; but no such immediate relationship is visible here.

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, Of Cups and Rings and Things, unpublished: Shipley 1981.
  2. Bennett, Paul, Megalithic Ramblings between Ilkley and Baildon, unpublished: Shipley 1982.
  3. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
  4. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  5. Morris, Ronald W.B., “The Prehistoric Rock Art of Great Britain: A Survey of All Sites Bearing Motifs more Complex than Simple Cup-marks,” in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, volume 55, 1989.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Baildon Moor CR-184

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Baildon Moor CR-184 53.860056, -1.786739 Baildon Moor CR-184

Crook Farm north, Baildon Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13703 39616

Getting Here

This lovely cup-and-ring stone, Baildon Moor

Take the road up alongside and past Shipley Glen, taking the turn to go to Crook Farm caravan site. Go right to the end of the car-park, then walk up through the trees on your left.  Keep going uphill about 100 yards by the field-wall until it starts to level out – and shortly before the first gate into the field (on your right) keep your eyes peeled for the triangular stone in the ground, barely 10 yards away from the walling. You’re damn close!

Archaeology & History

W.E. Preston’s early photo of the carving

For some reason this has always been one of my favourite cup-and-ring stones on Baildon Moor and it’s well worth checking out if you visit the area! It was rediscovered by the Bradford historian W.E. Preston, who photographed the carving around 1912.  Shortly afterwards he took fellow historians Joseph Rycroft and W. Paley Baildon to see this (and others he’d located) and both a drawing and photo of the site was including in Mr Baildon’s (1913) magnum opus the following year.

As you can see from the relative photos—with literally 100 years between them—erosion hasn’t taken too much toll and this neolithic or Bronze Age carving remains in very good condition.

Joseph Rycroft’s early drawing
Close-up of one section

Covered with upwards of fifty cup-markings, there are also two cup-and-rings and numerous carved lines meandering around and enclosing some of the many cups.  It’s a fascinating design, with another ‘Cassiopeia’ cluster of cups in one section, beloved of archaeoastronomers who explore these stones.  Mr Rycroft’s drawing of the design (left) is perhaps the best one, to date.

Along this same ridge there are remains of other prehistoric sites, more cup-and-rings, remains of prehistoric walling and what may be a small cairn circle (to be described later).

References:

  1. Baildon, W. Paley, Baildon and the Baildons – parts 1-15, Adelphi: London 1913-1926.
  2. Bennett, Paul, Of Cups and Rings and Things, unpublished: Shipley 1981.
  3. Bennett, Paul, Megalithic Ramblings between Ilkley and Baildon, unpublished: Shipley 1982.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Crook Farm north CR

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Crook Farm north CR 53.852598, -1.793177 Crook Farm north CR

Baildon Moor Carving (150), West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13724 40096

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.22 (Hedges)

Getting Here

Carving 150, with Dobrudden Stone to rear

Whether you come via Shipley Glen or Baildon, head for the Dobrudden caravan park on the western edge of Baildon Hill.  As you get to the entrance of the caravan site, turn right and walk along the outer walling of the caravan site, up and around for less than 100 yards.  Keep your eyes peeled for the upright stone against the outer walling (the famous Dobrudden Cup-and-Ring Stone), and just 10 yards away, laid flat in the grasses, you’ll see this small cup-and-ring stone!

Archaeology & History

Found just a few yards from the well-known Dobrudden Carving that stands up against the wall, this small flat level stone, slowly again being encroached by Earth’s skin, is found on the edge of the High Plain, whereon the usual conjunction of prehistoric tombs and cup-and-rings is found once again.  Whether this carving ever had its own cairn or funerary monument is now hard to say for sure; and the excessive erosion of modern humans is slowly eradicating the landscape all round here.

Jackson’s 1956 drawing
Hedges 1986 drawing

Consisting of two cup-and-rings (with very deep cupmarks in the centres), there are also what seem like artificially carved lines or grooves running across the stone.  It was first described in a short article in the Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin (Jackson 1956)*, found lying “in the path alongside the north wall of the Dobrudden Farm enclosure.”  It seems like stone may have been covered over until some local work on Dobrudden unearthed it in the latter half of the 20th century.  There’s also an intriguing note told by a local man called Jack Taylor, which Jackson narrated, saying how he,

“always held the opinion that the rings were not contemporary with the cups, and went so far as to suggest that they had been carved within living memory by someone anxious to ‘improve’ the boulder.”

This might be the case, as there is another carving not far away near the top of Baildon Hill that certainly seems to have been done in the 20th century.  And one of the two surrounding rings on this stone does appear to have a more recent look to it than the other.  However, we must consider that the covering soil has kept the carved rings in such good condition. (There are examples of petroglyphs throughout the world where certain carved elements were added at later times by countless aboriginal tribes.)

Close-up of cup-and-rings
Dobrudden carving 150

Like all of these carvings, to get an accurate picture of the true original we must visit them in all weathers all through the year, to see how differing seasons express the petroglyph. For we can see on some images we have of this carving a number of features that aren’t on the drawings of either Jackson (1956) or Hedges (1986): whether the rings surrounding the cups are ancient or not, there is a definite carved line nearly linking them together; and at least one faint line stretches down from one of the rings.  We need to visit the carving again to see if such features show up with greater clarity when lighting conditions are better.

References:

  1. Baildon, W. Paley, Baildon and the Baildons – parts 1-15, Adelphi: London 1913-1926.
  2. Bennett, Paul, Megalithic Ramblings between Ilkley and Baildon, unpublished: Shipley 1982.
  3. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  4. Hedges, John, The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  5. Jackson, Sidney, “Another Cup-and-Ring Boulder,” in Bradford Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin, 1:13, 1956.

* Boughey & Vickerman (2003) cited W. P. Baildon’s magnum opus (1913) as the first to describe this stone, but this is untrue (there’s certainly no mention nor illustration of it in my editions of the Baildon volumes).

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Baildon Moor CR-150

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Baildon Moor CR-150 53.856912, -1.792836 Baildon Moor CR-150

Hope Farm Field, Baildon Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13856 39599

Getting Here

Cup-marked line of old walling

Whether you come via Shipley Glen or Baildon, head for the Dobrudden caravan park on the western edge of Baildon Hill.  As you get to the entrance of the caravan site, walk down (left) the footpath outside the park itself, looking across the grasslands, left, to the tree-lined wall a coupla hundred yards away.  Head for that.  Then go through the gate into the field where you’ll see a denuded line of walling, with what looks like some standing stones along it.  That’s where you need to be!

Archaeology & History

First noticed on February 12, 2012, this simple cup-marked stone is another one that’s probably only of interest to the purists amongst you.  Found below the southern end of Baildon Hill, due west of the lost Hope Farm cup-and-ring stone, the cup-markings here are on the north-face of an upright stone in an old wall.  It’s obvious that this stone was once earthfast, when the carving faced the zenith or night sky, and has been cut in half and turned 90° making the cups more difficult to notice; and very obviously the rock was originally close to its present position in the walling.

Primary cupmark, right-side of stone
Close-up of cup/s

Found in an area rich in cup-and-ring stones, there’s just one singular cupmark that’s obvious on this stone; but as we looked back and forth, feeling the stone with our fingers, it seemed there may be a couple of others on the rock.  We need to come back here again in better lighting conditions, as opposed to the old grey day She gave us yesterday, and see if the others are real or simple geological marks.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Hope Farm Field CR

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Hope Farm Field CR 53.852441, -1.790852 Hope Farm Field CR