Wood Well, Shipley Glen, Gilstead, West Yorkshire

Healing Well:  OS Grid Reference – SE 12797 39277

Getting Here

Wood Well on 1852 map

Best reached by going up Shipley Glen, to the Brackenhall Circle enclosure; keep going for a couple of hundred yards and then drop down into the trees, taking the directions directly to the Cloven Hoof Well.  Just past the well, a small footpath leads you downhill towards the large stream at the bottom, where there’s a rocky crossing (an old ford).  Go over here and, barely 50 yards upstream to your right, a large singular moss-covered boulder is set back, just a few yards above the stream with a small pool in front of it.  That’s it!

Archaeology & History

The ‘directions’ to find this might seem a little confusing to locals at first.  This is because the whereabouts of the Wood Well is on the eastern boundary edge of Gilstead – which is down at the bottom of Shipley Glen.  The steep muddy hill above it is almost always slippy and wet through, so it’s easiest to approach from the Baildon side.

The shallow muddy waters in a hot summer

The site is shown on the 1852 map of the area, but I can find written material telling of its qualities.  If it ever had any medicinal virtues, they have long since been forgotten.  Whilst the water here is fresh and drinkable, in times of drought and low rainfall the water subsides and leaves only a muddy pool – just as it was when I last visited, making it quite undrinkable.  But to me, the main aspect of this site is its natural spirit, its locale, as it’s surrounded by unerring hues of rich greens, cast out by the landscape of mosses prevalent in a region almost bereft of such voices.  If you like y’ wells – check it out!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.849577, -1.806964 Wood Well

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

Holy Well, Baildon, West Yorkshire

Holy Well (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 1609 3961

Archaeology & History

This site is all but unknown to the great majority of folk in Baildon, and even some of the local historians have let it slip from their investigative tendrils.  According to the primary Baildon historian, W.Paley Baildon, it was first known as the ‘Halliwell Holy Well’.  In his magnum opus (1913-26) of the township he relates that,

“The 1852 Ordnance map marks Halliway Banks Wood to the south of Langley Lane, with a well just below it, and a footpath from Holden Lane to the well.  Halliway, I think, is a corruption of Halliwell, the ‘holy well,’ with the special footpath leading to it and nowhere else.  Haliwell Bank occurs in (the Baildon Court Rolls of) 1490, when it formed part of the property held by William Tong of Nicolas Fitz William.”

This etymology is echoed by the great place-name authority A.H. Smith (1954).  It also caught the attention of archaeologist Andrea Smith (1982), in her investigation of twenty-five holy wells in the West Yorkshire region.

“Many wells,” she wrote, “are recorded simply as ‘Holy Well,’ or the various forms ‘Halliwell,’ ‘Helliwell’ and ‘Hollowell.’  It is possible that in these instances the identity of the patron saint or guardian of the well has been forgotten, which may be the case with the site at Collingham, now known as Hollowell.”

Site of the Holy Well in 1852

The well itself can no longer be seen.  When I looked for the site in 1982, I found that to the right of where the 1852 map showed it, was a waterworks lid covering the old holy waters, just in the trees atop of the field beneath a great sycamore with a number of small stones roughly encircling the site: perhaps the only possible relics of the century before when the waters would have been used.  A stone trough was situated at the bottom of Holden Lane, fed by the waters from the Halliwell and from here the course of the stream meandered down the side of Slaughter Lane, now known as Kirklands Road.  The land around Halliwell became known as Kirkfield, or field of worship.

A local resident told how during autumn and winter, the left side of the field gets extremely boggy – the region were the old stream ran from the old well, along which dowsers have found aquastats abound.  Now however, houses have been built where the waterworks-lid used to be and is likely to be in someone’s backyard, all but forgotten.

Folklore

According to local lore, the site of this most ancient of holy wells was found in the warmest place in the Baildon district.  Whilst its geographical position doesn’t necessarily suggest this (although it did face south, into the sun), this lore may reflect some healing aspect of the well that has long since been forgotten.

Perhaps relevant to Andrea Smith’s comment about there being ‘guardians’ at holy wells is found in folklore relating to nearby Holden Lane: locals in the last century also referred to it as Boggart Lane, so called after the Boggart which was seen there in the form of a spectral hound that was said to possess large glowing red eyes and was a sign of ill omen.  Modern sightings of the spectral hound, which appeared along the road which led to the old well, are unknown.

References:

  1. Baildon, W. Paley, Baildon and the Baildons (parts 1-15), St. Catherines: Adelphi 1913-26.
  2. Smith, A.H., English Place-Name Elements – volume 1, Cambridge University Press 1954.
  3. Smith, Andrea, ‘Holy Wells Around Leeds, Bradford & Pontefract,’ in Wakefield Historical Journal 9, 1982.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.852504, -1.756778 Holy Well, Baildon

Cloven Hoof Well, Shipley Glen, West Yorkshire

Sacred Well:  OS Grid Reference – SE 12839 39331

Also Known as:

  1. Raygate Well

Getting Here

Cloven Hoof Well, Shipley Glen

On the roadside at Shipley Glen, from Brackenhall Circle walk up for about 250 yards, where you’ll notice the land dips as it drops into the woods below. Follow this dried stream down until you reach the mossy Loadpit Beck in the valley.  By the waterside is a footpath: follow this upstream for a short distance, keeping your eyes peeled on the Earth below where a smaller stream crosses the path you’re walking on.  Follow this uphill to its source!

Archaeology & History

Halfway up (or down) the moss-covered waters of Shipley Glen the all-but-forgotten waters of the Cloven Hoof Well still flows nice and freely, and is still good to drink. It was shown on the first OS-map of the area in 1852, where it was called the Raygate Well, whose derivation neither the great Baildon historian W. Paley Baildon nor the place-name giant A.H. Smith could account for.  It sounds just like it was someone’s surname, but local genealogy cannot affirm this.  One possibility—and which reflects in the local lore of the site—is that it’s a compound word from the old northern dialect word Rea, “an evil spirit or demon”, and gate, “a hole, an opening or gap.”  The terms are used in a prayer given in Mr Sinclair’s Satan’s Invisible World Displayed (1814),

“as recited in the time of Popery by persons when going to bed, as a means of them being preserved from danger:

“Keep this house from the weir…
And from an ill Rea,
That be the gate can gae.””

But this purely speculative….

Cloven Hoof Well on 1852 map

A photograph and brief description of the Cloven Hoof Well was given in an early edition of the Bradford Scientific Journal after a geological excursion to Shipley, though nothing was said of its curious name. However on a rock below the spring, a hoof-print mark is clearly seen.  It appears to be part-natural and partly enhanced.  This is an area rich in prehistoric petroglyphs, or cup and rings stones.

Mosses thankfully still cover the rocks from whence the waters flow; and bilberry, blackberry, male fern and bracken also grow around it.  Psychoactive plants also abound nearby. The water is healthy and never seems to dry up, even during long warm summers.  And below here, on the other side of the stream at the bottom, you can visit the little-known Wood Well

Folklore

Local lore told that the devil stepped here and left his hoof-mark in the rock, making the waters rise from the Earth.  Possibly a venerated site in earlier days, one finds numerous ancient remains nearby (cup and rings, stone circle, walling, cairn fields).  Pagans amongst you should love this place!

References:

  1. Armitage, Paul, The Holy Wells and Healing Springs of West Yorkshire, forthcoming
  2. Baildon, W. Paley, Baildon and the Baildons (parts 1-15), St. Catherines: Adelphi 1913-26.
  3. la Page, John, The Story of Baildon, William Byles: London 1951.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.850079, -1.806321 Cloven Hoof Well

Crutch Well, Baildon, West Yorkshire

Healing Well:  OS Grid Reference – SE 14678 38688

Getting Here

Crutch Well pool (Goat Stone carving to rear)

Whether you’re coming here from either Baildon, or Shipley, head for the Cricketer’s Arms on Green Road (ask a local).  About 50 yards uphill from the pub, on the other side of the road, notice the small pool on the green surrounded by large rocks.  That’s y’ spot!

Archaeology & History

First illustrated on the 1851 6-inch to the mile Ordnance Survey map of the region, this little known medicinal spring of water appears to get its name from the northern dialect word, crutch, meaning a plough, a plough-handle, a spade and variants thereof. (Wright 1898)  There is another possibility of it deriving from “an ash or hazel pole” that were given as payment to workers each day in bygone times—a curious custom in itself! But we actually don’t know for sure and could even assume that people came here on crutches to be cured, or something along those lines.

The place has clear running water and had a chapel built near it in the early 19th century.  The old public house across the road (Cricketer’s Arms) has spring water from this well running underneath it, which was said to never run dry and also keeps the drinks forever cool in warm weather!  A few yards above the source of the spring, on the grass to the north is a small cup-marked stone.  Another cupmarked rock listed by archaeologists as a prehistoric carved stone nearby on the same grass verge is probably of more recent industrial origin.

References:

  1. Baildon, W. Paley, Baildon and the Baildons – parts 1-15, Adelphi: London 1913-1926.
  2. Wright, Joseph, English Dialect Dictionary – volume 1, Henry Frowde: Oxford 1898.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Crutch Well

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Crutch Well 53.844231, -1.778399 Crutch Well

Goat Stone Carving, Baildon, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 14690 38699

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.193 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

The goat on its cup-marked stone!

Whether you’re coming here from either Baildon, or Shipley, head for the Cricketer’s Arms pub on Green Road (ask a local).  About 50 yards uphill from the pub, on the other side of the road, notice the small pool on the green surrounded by large rocks: it’s the small stone about 15 yards behind the source of the spring. The goats living there usually give the game away!

Archaeology & History

This small stone, found amidst a cluster of others surrounding the medicinal Crutch Well, has its name from the friendly goats who live hereby and, when I came here for the first time in a while the other day, had trouble getting one of the little fellas to shift from his stone!  We first found this when we did a lotta venturing around the area when we lived nearby as kids.  This particular stone was noted during one of our many exploratory rambles round here, albeit briefly, when I wrote:

“Before going up the slope to Robin Hood’s House we looked at the stones around Crutch Well and found one with some cup-marks on it, on the grass behind the waters.”

I can’t say for sure, but think this carving was later added in the Boughey & Vickerman (2003) survey as stone no.193.  They described the stone as:

“Creamish coloured rock about 1m N-S and less than 0.5m high carries two possible shallow cups to centre of surface and a possible third cup (doubtful) to N.”

Close-up of the cups

This would seem to be the stone, though there is another faded fourth cup, between the ‘doubtful’ cup and the two distinct ones, with a faded carved line running from it.  Their grid-reference isn’t accurate for this and a companion single cup-marked rock (which I’d say was dodgy!), so I’m not 100% sure that we’re dealing with the same carving.  There are a lot of small rocks here and in the fields opposite, many with industrial marks on them which, over the years, have faded and give the appearance of cup-markings — which most are not!

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, Of Cups and Rings and Things, unpublished: Shipley 1981.
  2. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Goat Stone CR

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Goat Stone CR 53.844330, -1.778217 Goat Stone CR

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