Stanbury Hill North, Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1097 4339

Getting Here

Stanbury HIll cup-marked rock
Stanbury HIll cup-marked rock

Take the directions as if you’re visiting the ornate petroglyphs known as the Lunar Stone and the Spotted Stone. Walk past them and down the slope, NW, as if you’re heading to the small valley a few hundred yards away. As you reach the bottom of the slope, closer to the stream, a large boulder catches your attention. This carved stone is just a few yards before you reach it.

Archaeology & History

This simple cup-marked design below the northern slope of Stanbury Hill has, on its northeastern sloping face, a single cup-mark; then, past a curiously-etched line (probably more recent) is a larger circular feature, like a very shallow ‘bowl’ as in the one found in the superb Stag Cottage petroglyph complex 300 miles north (and several other carvings). A few yards away, a large single cup-mark has been etched onto another stone.  As with quite a few carvings in this region, they have been missed in the standard archaeocentric surveys.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.886582, -1.834589 Stanbury Hill north CR

Elkington’s Track, Burley Moor, West Yorkshire

Prehistoric Trackway:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13169 44111 to SE 13321 44172

Getting Here

Mr Elkington's newly uncovered prehistoric track
Mr Elkington’s newly uncovered prehistoric track

Get yourself to the Roms Law circle, by hook or by crook.  Then take the long almost straight footpath south, as if you’re heading to the very damaged Horncliffe Well (thanks to Yorkshire Water).  You’ll notice the fencing that runs parallel to the path eventually.  Nearly 400 yards along the parallel fenced line you reach the first decent-sized stream.  From here, walk upstream, keeping to its northern edges for another 300 yards—then walk 10-20 yards into the heather.  You’re damn close!

Archaeology & History

The site is named after Mr James Elkington who recently rediscovered this previously unmapped prehistoric trackway, close to where Burley Moor meets the western edge of Hawksworth Moor, on the greater Rombald’s complex.  And it’s a bloody good find if I might say so myself!  But, like so many sites covering the Rombald’s complex, it begs more questions than it answers.

2014 aerial view showing outline of trackway
2014 aerial view showing outline of trackway
2002 aerial view of trackway
2002 aerial view of trackway

The trackway is consistent in architectural design and dimensions with at least six of the eight prehistoric trackways that I’m aware of on these moors — none of which have ever been adequately mapped nor investigated by regional archaeologists (thankfully, there are folk like us around!).  This ninth trackway, upon initial investigation, may be the shortest of them all up here.

Section of large stones marking the track
Section of large stones marking the track
Overgrown section of track-edge
Overgrown section of track-edge

Elkington’s Track seems to begin its route about 10-20 yards north of the once large, fast-flowing stream of the Middle Beck—which in itself seems curious.  No trace of any trackway seems evident on the other side of this stream and there are no other prehistoric remains accounting for why it should begin or end here…

Walking along the track, it heads northeast for 80 yards, with low lines of raised parallel walling 4-5 yards apart defining the avenue, before it begins to gradually bend round in a more easterly direction.  Thirty yards along this more easterly alignment, in the southern walled section, lays an eroded stone (SE 13255 44165) that seems to have stood upright in the not-too-distant past.  It seems to mark an opening or gap in the walled trackway and a large scatter of small stones, akin to the denuded remains of a cairn is evident just below the track at this point.  The raised embankment of the trackway keeps heading east, towards the line of Hawksworth Moor boundary stones.

More long line of walled edges
More long line of walled edges
Looking NE up the track
Looking NE up the track

Upon initial investigation, the trackway was visible for a minimum of 185 yards (169.4m) in length, whereafter any immediate trace of it disappeared into the ancient peat.  However, aerial views of it on GoogleEarth indicate a faint extension of the track, but these are difficult to apprehend at ground-level.  There is every possibility that this trackway eventually meets up with one of the four other prehistoric trackways near the Great Skirtful of Stones giant tomb, or even the North Road running past Roms Law—but until this can be ascertained, the trackway must be defined on its own merits.  Further heather-burning on the moors at either end would obviously enable a great examination of the remains.

In the event that the southernmost point of this trackway does begin above the Middle Beck stream, as seems apparent, we may be looking at a ceremonial trackway and not just a ‘road’ as we define them in the modern parlance of homo-profanus culture.  Think of it as a small version of The Avenue trackway that runs from Stonehenge outwards, past the Heel Stone and eventually bending down to the River Avon. (Burl 2006)  Y’ just never know…..

References:

  1. Burl, Aubrey, A Brief History of Stonehenge, Constable: London 2006.
  2. Cowling, Eric T., Rombald’s Way, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  3. Raistrick, Arthur, Green Tracks on the Pennines, Dalesman: Clapham 1962.
  4. Wright, Geoffrey N., Roads and Trackways of the Yorkshire Dales, Moorland: 1985.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Elkington's Track

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Elkington\'s Track 53.893012, -1.801103 Elkington\'s Track

Fairy Mine, Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

Miscellaneous:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1278 4322

Archaeology & History

Fairy Mine, Bingley Moor
Fairy Mine, Bingley Moor (photo by James Elkington)

This is a strange one.  A really strange one…..  The site would not have even been written about had it not been for James Elkington pushing me to make its existence visible to a wide audience.  As with many sites that I’ve rediscovered, this is one of many that I never seem to write about, for various reasons…although I did do a short piece on it (Bennett 2001) many years back in a little earth mysteries mag, but kept the location quiet.  But now, James has got me to change my mind about it.  If anyone can throw any light onto what they think this site might be, feel free to let us know. With the exception of is early history, this is its story…

Close-up of the entrance (photo by James Elkington)
Close-up of the entrance (photo by James Elkington)

One weekend in the early Spring of 1977, Jon Tilleard and I made our weekly wander onto the southern edges of Rombalds Moor, doing little as usual apart from maybe seeking out the curious cup-and-ring stones and other ancient remains, along with walking through the obligatory bogs and wetlands, getting filthy and wet through as healthy kids do at that age.  After making our way to Horncliffe Well (generally our first point of call most weeks), we decided to head straight west, off-path as always, and eventually sat ourselves down for something to eat near Wicking Crags on Bingley Moor.

As we packed up again, readying ourselves to walk further onto the moor, John stood upright.  In doing so, he dislodged a stone by his feet—right where I was still sitting on the ground!

“Watch out!” he exclaimed loudly—and I quickly rolled forward to get out of the way of the impending stone.  Thankfully it wasn’t too big.  But then as I turned round to see what had happened, I saw John stood on the small rocky rise he’d been sitting upon—and right beneath his feet, the stone that he’d dislodged had been hiding a very curious secret indeed…

As the photos show, a small opening led into the Earth right underneath where Jon had been sitting.  The stone he’d accidentally kicked away had covered and sealed a previously unrecorded entrance.  Now, after however many centuries it had been closed and secret, he’d uncovered it again.  For us two fourteen-year-old lads gazing into this passageway, our imaginations started running riot!

“What the hell izzit!?”—we must have exclaimed a dozen times or more to each other!  To this day, we still don’t know.

I’m not sure how long we stayed here after we’d first found it, but before we left we made sure that the covering stone which had sealed the entrance was propped back upright, securely, so that no one else could find it.  The site was quite a way off-path, at the head of a very large boggy area where—to this day—people very rarely walk (in all my years of walking these moors, I’ve yet to see another human walking in this area).

In looking into the tunnel for the very first time, the ground on the outside was of course covered by the usual moorland vegetation; but an inch behind where the stone had sealed this tunnel, the floor was grey dust, all the way in.  There were no animal tracks, neither mice nor others, no droppings, no nothing (which we thought was rather unusual).  No plants of any form were evident.  This ‘door’ had been closed for a very long time it seemed.  …Today if you visit the site, ferns and other small plants have encroached several feet into the tunnel.

The entrance itself is about 14 inches across, and from the ground to the top covering stone the entrance is less than 12 inches high, showing quite clearly that no humans can walk in or out of it.  Which added to the puzzle: what the hell is it?  And why was it sealed with a covering stone?  But the more we looked (it became our regular port of call each time we were on the moors) the more obvious it became that a huge amount of work had gone into creating this antiquarian oddity.

As Winter came and cleared all the vegetation surrounding the site, we got an increasingly clear picture of it.  But this wasn’t before we tried to get inside!  Jon and I failed, but our torches showed that it went in for about 20-30 feet or so and then appeared to be stop, blocked by another stone.  Thankfully I had a younger brother, Phil, who was seven-year old at the time—so we took him up to have a look at the place.  We figured that only a small person could get inside the tunnel, but we didn’t tell him this (nor my parents!) until we arrived.

With torch in hand, Phil slithered into the entrance and, eventually, his little feet disappeared into the ground.  He didn’t seem too happy about it as I remember—but I was his big brother! (cruel – cruel – cruel!)  Shouting back down to us as he slithered further and further in, when he reached the blocking stone in the tunnel he exclaimed—”You can go round it!”

“What!? Really!?”

We were excited.

“Keep going Phil,” we urged.  But he wouldn’t.

“I’m scared Paul,” he said.  “I won’t be able to get back out”—or something along those lines.  And he was probably right.

But he managed to get his young tiny body slightly round the blocking stone that he’d reached and shone the torch-light down the extended tunnel.  He told that the it just kept going into the hill still further, keeping the same size and dimensions and straightness for about the same distance again—but then it started to curve very slightly, bending to the left (northwest) until it disappeared underneath the entire hillside, stretching out of sight. It seemed from his description, subsequently, that the tunnel went on for another 50 feet at least.

Once he was safely back out, he reiterated how far in it seemed to go.  We walked up the hill under which it had been built and Phil bimbled to roughly where he thought the tunnel was as he saw it with the torchlight.  Standing on the hilltop, this was obviously an extraordinary feat as there are thousands of tons of rock and earth covering it!  Curiously, years later, a dowser who visited the place walked the same route that Phil had described when he went inside it (we told the dowser nothing of Phil’s venture until afterwards).

Denuded walling leading to entrance
Denuded walling leading to entrance (photo by James Elkington)
Low walling leading to the 'Mine'
Low walling leading to the ‘Mine’ (photo by James Elkington)

When all the moorland vegetation has died back, you can clearly see how the tunnel has been built upon by a large mass of earth and rocks, some of them loose.  All round it is an extended collapse of what seems to be quarried stone tumbling down the hillside.  At the top of the hill are the remains of old walling and at least two walled structures—although they appear to be post-medieval in nature, not prehistoric.  At the entrance itself is evidence of continued walling of some form.  It seems as if a wider man-made chamber of some sort may once have stood here, right in front of the present-day entrance.  Even if this proves not to be the case, there is very clear evidence that the tunnel which goes into the hillside was once longer, as low walling continues outside away from the entrance, bending away some 50 yards to the southeast, before ending with no indication of additional structural remains.  This walled structure swerving out from the entrance is equally perplexing.

The closest prehistoric feature is an unrecorded cairn and petroglyph a few hundred yards away.  As far as I’m concerned, this tiny little entrance into the ground isn’t prehistoric.  But I’m nonetheless still very intrigued by it, not least because of a few very strange things that subsequently occurred here after we’d discovered it.

Whoever did this, went to a helluva lot of trouble and immense effort to build it.  And for what?  …Since being opened nearly 40 years ago, very few people have been to see this curious entrance into the Earth.  I’ve kept its location hidden.  But amongst the visitors has been an archaeologist, a historian, antiquarian authors, occultists and friends.  None have been able to say what this site might be.  From souterrains to mine-shafts, probably the best suggestion so far was by Mr Paul Hornby who suggested it might have been some sort of kiln, as there seems evidence of fire against one of the stones.  But there are anomalies with the site that don’t quite fit the glove of a normal kiln.  The extended collapsed ‘tunnel’ which reaches way out, past the entrance which Jon broke in the 1970s, doesn’t make sense; nor the fact that the tunnel goes way into the natural hillside.  Indeed, many things here don’t make sense, simply—I presume—because we haven’t asked the right question yet.

But one thing seems obvious: there may be something at the end of this tunnel, deep inside the hill, which someone many centuries ago, for some odd reason, wanted to keep hidden for a long long time.  What’s at the end of this tunnel?  And if it’s valuable treasure deep in there—it is NOT going to some museum which then, in later years, will be sold off cheaply to some wealthy dood when the museum runs out of money.  It should be kept within the safe holdings of The Northern Antiquarian.  If this becomes an issue, whatever lies at the end will simply be re-buried elsewhere.

Fortean History

On that fine Spring morning when we first discovered this “mine shaft for little people” as we called it, before we went on our way, we placed the stone that Jon had dislodged that had covered the entrance back into position so that no one could see the opening leading into the ground and under the hill.  It was firm and secure when we left—we made sure of it.

The following Sunday morning we made our way back up past Horncliffe Well again and onto this little mine-shaft to sit and have summat to eat.  The rocky arena here made it difficult to locate, even though we knew where it was.  But when we eventually did find it again, the covering-stone was missing.  In fact it had been rolled a good 5 yards away from the entrance.  This was odd, we thought—considering that no one even knew of its existence.  We wondered if an animal had taken up residence inside, but there were no tracks or remains consistent with this initial idea.  We puzzled about it, ate our food, and said our au revoirs.  Before we left, we repositioned the covering stone again to block the entrance.  This time we made it a little more secure than previously.

The following Sunday morning we visited the site again—and the covering stone had been removed, again!  So we replaced it, securely, and visited the place a week later—and the same thing had happened again.  This occurred time after time, month after month, year after year.  Every single time we covered the entrance, something came and removed it.  Yet no one ever comes on this section of the moorland—and even if they did, the site is very difficult to locate.  Until now, the site has never been added to any archaeology or history records anywhere—so no one knew of its existence (in asking two of the moorland rangers who’ve worked here over the decades, neither of them knew what we were talking about).

When Andrew Hammond and I left school at 18 (in 1981), we decided as a ritual to bring our school books onto the moor and burn them as the sun was setting in the northwest.  We sat near the little mine-shaft and sang our songs of joys at being out of school at last—and as the darkness began to fall over the moor, we replaced the entrance-stone again.  Within 30 minutes Nature had cast pitch black across the moor and we fell asleep.

Awaking at sunrise the following day, we wandered down the slope to the little mine-shaft where we’d repositioned the stone only hours previously.  It had been moved again, several yards away from the position Jon Tilleard first dislodged it from, several years previously.

No animal tracks, droppings, or any evidence whatsoever of Nature’s creatures being responsible for the constant removal of the covering stone has ever been found.  The constant removal of the covering stone remains a complete mystery.

When a dowser came and tried tracing the underground route of the tunnel in the early 1990s, his rods took him to the top of the rocky hill above, then led him in a small curve to the northwest for more than 100 yards before stopping.

Note:

In the event that archaeologists ever get round to excavating or assessing this site, I would appreciate being contacted before anything is done and would love to be involved in any work performed at the site.  I’ll be a good boy!  Other remains nearby (usually covered by heather) need appraising to enable a more complete analysis, otherwise all subsequent reports would lack wider archaeocentric contextualization.  Thanks, in advance. 🙂

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul., ‘Into a Mythic Domain – a Passage into the Ilkley Underworld,’ in Northern Earth, 87, Autumn 2001.

Acknowledgements:  Huge thanks to James Elkington for use of his photos to illustrate this site profile.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

 

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  53.884981, -1.807065 Fairy Mine

Stanbury Hill (097), Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10970 43361

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.78 (Hedges)

Getting Here

To get here, follow the same directions to reach the ornate Lunar Stone.  Once here, walk about 20 yards west towards where the brow of the hill begins to slope down.  Amble about and you’ll easily find it.

Archaeology & History

This is a fascinating carving.  Fascinating, inasmuch as it seemingly keeps changing appearance when Nature moves her daylight hues and whimsical unpredictability betwixt the hills, surrounding landscape and human observer.  Depending very much where you stand and when you look at this small rock — dappled with unacknowledged veils of sunlights, grey winds and other natural forces — determines what the stone shows you.  This carving as much as any upon this hill shows once again the hugely neglected dynamic between human purveyor and Nature’s powerful subtlety: an organic exchange of moods from stone to man and back again; very much how our ancestors saw things to be…

Pecked lines clearly visible on the far end of the rock
Carving from above

For if we were to merely pay attention to what the reference books tell us about this carving (good reference books though they are!), we’d simply be seeing a rock possessing a “cup and partial ring and two other possible cups”, as Boughey & Vickerman (2003) and other students might do.  But then, if conditions change, only subtly, and we gaze instead of study, other things can emerge.  And just such a thing happened when we came here yesterday…

On my first visit here I could only see a single cup-marking, with another ‘debatable’ close by.  The light of day wasn’t quite right it seemed.  But when we visited here yesterday, the sun, the light, the land and our ambling minds saw much more unveiled from this old grey surface.  Whilst two cups-and-rings seem to link with another cup on the lower end of the stone, amidst the natural cracks and fissures, on the higher end are very distinct carved pecked lines, one of which has been blatantly cut onto, or upon, the long curving crack which runs from one end of the stone to the other.  As this carved line emerges out of the natural crack, it heads upwards.  As it does so, another line has been pecked running off it to the left and then curves back down the sloping rock-face once again.  But in this previously unrecognised carved section, these lines may extend even further up the rock…..it’s hard to say for sure.  We could do with greater analysis of its surface, with further observations under yet more lighting conditions.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.886322, -1.834590 Stanbury Hill CR-097

Eclipse Stone (107), Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 11164 42652

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.107 (Boughey & Vickerman)
  2. Carving no.228 (Hedges)

Getting Here

From East Morton village, take the moorland road, east, and up the steep hill.  Where the road levels out there’s a right turn, plus (more importantly!) a trackway on your left which leads onto the moor.  Go up this track for a few hundred yards until you’re on the moor proper (by this I mean the track’s levelled out and you’re looking 360° all round you with all the moor in front of you).  Just before the track starts a slight downhill slope, go into the heather on your right, for about 80 yards.  You’re damn close!

Archaeology & History

I first came here many years back in my mid- to late-teens with an old school-friend Jon Tilleard, wandering about adventurously, occasionally stopping here and there when I found some stupid cup-mark or other seemingly innocuous scratch on the rocks, gerrin’ all excited and jumping about like a tit!  But when we visited the place again a few days back my response was somewhat different.  I was worse!  But for good reason…

Primary features of CR-107
Close-up of main features

The potential variations visible in this carving are peculiar, to say the least.  Ones first impression shows a carving similar in many ways to that shown in Hedges (1986) fine survey; but upon closer inspection a number of initial visual responses begin to look murky.  A seeming cup-with-double-ring aint what it seems!  To me at least (sad fella that I am!), it’s far more intriguing and far less certain, with a number of oddities still left.

The central feature of the carving is the lovely near-cup-and-double-ring!  As we can see in the photo here, there are some insecurities in the top-right of the outer ring.  To the upper right of this is another cup-with-partial-ring that was not included in the Hedges (1986) survey, nor Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) updated work.  There are some obvious pecked carved lines — whose specific definition yet remains unclear — in and around this area of the petroglyph; but in the “official” illustration these elements or ingredients were somehow missed.

Eclipse Stone, looking west

When we visited the stone the other day, the naturally eroded lines on the rock seemed pretty obvious; but the more we looked, the less secure we were about some of them.  Thankfully the light kept changing about, allowing us to get different perspectives — and with the low sunlight of evening casting itself across the rock, some additional features seemed obvious.  In particular, what seemed like two natural “scratches” on the stone turned out to have been pecked and carved and the straight lines ran into the double cup-and-ring on the left-side.  One of these — the lower and shorter of the two — seems to run into the central cup, but this aint certain.  The longer top line has an even more circuitous venture: entering the outer ring, it passes onto the top-inner ring and then bends along its edge, before exiting again on the right-hand side, through the outer ring and heading out towards the large natural eroded cutting a few feet away (see my crappy drawing to get an idea).  Other faint aspects on this stone may have the hand of man behind them…

My shit sketch!
Hedges 1986 sketch

There are certainly a few other cups on the stone: one with a near semi-circle on its lower and right-hand side.  The long nature-worn cut, right-of-middle, may have had the hand of man cutting into the cup at the bottom; and another couple of “is it? — isn’t it?” enhanced natural cups seem possible on the left side of the rock.  There is also what looks like a distinct single cup-marking on the west-facing vertical face of the stone (you walk towards it from the track).  It looks pretty decent, but I’ll let them there “professionals” assess the validity or otherwise of that one!  But the other unmistakable and very curious ingredient is the deep, worn arc beneath the primary double-ring feature.  This is, as the photo shows, separated by a long natural crack running halfway down and along the stone, above which possibly the double-ring feature touches.  This large ‘arc’ feature gives the distinct impression of being a big smile!  However…

Turn the image of the central feature upside down and you get a very different effect indeed.  A rainbow above the surface of the Earth, with (perhaps) a pool in which the sun has reflected?  Or an underworld venture?  Looking at it from a few angles gives the impression of a comet moving across the sky, aswell as an eclipse with the diamond-ring effect.  But as with cup-and-ring in general, there are plenty of other potentials!  Which also begs the question: was it to be looked from the top or bottom (or left or right for that matter)?

I could waffle about this particular carving for much longer, showing that it had quite an effect on me.  Check it out and sit with it for a while… It’s superb!

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Eclipse Stone CR

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Eclipse Stone CR 53.879945, -1.831664 Eclipse Stone CR

Tomb Stone (110), Stanbury Hill, Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 11229 43143

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.93 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.110 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

The larger stone in this cairn is the carved rock
The larger stone in this cairn is the carved rock

From East Morton village, take the moorland road, east, and up the steep hill.  Where the road levels out there’s a right turn, plus (more importantly!) a trackway on your left which leads onto the moor.  Go up this track and keep walking till you hit a moorland ‘footpath’ signpost.  Just before this walk due west (your left) into the heather for about 10 yards.  Look around! (if the heather’s long and overgrown, you might have trouble finding it)  If you find carved stone 109, you’re less than 10 yards off this one!

Archaeology & History

First reported by Stuart Feather and described in a short note of the Yorkshire Archaeological Register* of 1977.  This was one of two small carved stones next to each other amidst the “denuded remains of a cairn 3m in diameter and 0.35m high.”  The stone we can still see here is a small one, seemingly near the very centre of the cairn, with its carved face looking northwards.  The carving is a simple double-ring surrounding a central cup: an almost archetypal cup-and-ring stone.

Crap photo of the double-ring

The other ancient carved stone that was once seen next to this (catalogued as carving 111) has in recent years been stolen by an archaeological thief no less!  Any information that anyone might have telling us who’s stolen this heritage piece, or where it might presently reside, can be emailed to me in confidence.  Or…the thief who’s taken it can return the carving to the site and put it back where it belongs before we find out where you live.  Simple as!

(Soz about the poor photo of this carving.  For decent ones of this stone you need to get here when the sun’s in a better position.  I’ll hopefully get some better images next time we’re up there when the light’s better.)

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  3. Moorhouse, S. (ed.), “Yorkshire Archaeological Register: 1977,” in Yorkshire Archaeology Journal, volume 50, 1978.

* Does anyone have any idea who you report such new discoveries to so that they can be reported in Yorkshire Archaeology Society’s ‘Register’?  I’ve asked ‘em several times about a number of previously unrecorded sites that we’ve located, so that they can make a record of them, but I never get a reply.

©Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.884357, -1.830657 Tomb Stone CR-110

Stanbury Hill (109), Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 11224 43139

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.91 (Hedges)

Getting Here

From East Morton village, take the moorland road, east, and up the steep hill.  Where the road levels out there’s a right turn, plus (more importantly!) a trackway on your left which leads onto the moor.  Go up this track and keep walking till you hit a moorland ‘footpath’ signpost.  Just before this walk due west (your left) into the heather for about 10 yards.  Look around! (if the heather’s long and overgrown, you might have trouble finding it)

Archaeology & History

Thought to be one of several carvings that were first reported by Stuart Feather and described in the Yorkshire Archaeological Register* of 1977: near the “denuded remains of a cairn” (there are in fact two here) is “a further cup-marked rock adjacent.”  This is thought to be the one registered in John Hedges’ (1986) survey as ‘stone 91’.  It’s a cute little thing, about 10 yards south of carving 110 (itself sited near the centre of a much-denuded burial cairn).

Carving 109, when wet!
and when dry!

Similar in design to some of the Baildon Moor cup-marked stones (see carving no.126), the primary design here is a simple one: five cup-markings run along the edge of the small stone, with a small carved “line” running between two of the cups, as if denoting separation; whilst on the lower middle part of the stone is another, single cup, a little more worn than the others.  It seems likely that this carving, like its double-ringed companion a few yards away (and others on this part of the moors) was in some way associated with the nearby prehistoric cairns.

 

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  3. Moorhouse, S. (ed.), “Yorkshire Archaeological Register: 1977,” in Yorkshire Archaeology Journal, volume 50, 1978.

* Does anyone have any idea who you report such new discoveries to so that they can be reported in Yorkshire Archaeology Society’s ‘Register’?  I’ve asked ’em several times about a number of previously unrecorded sites that we’ve located, so that they can make a record of them, but I never get a reply.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.884321, -1.830734 Stanbury Hill CR-109

Todmoor Carving, Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10992 42594

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.86 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.103 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

From Bingley, head up to Eldwick (either road, it doesn’t matter) until you hit the crossroads at the top where you go up Heights Lane onto the moors (ask someone if you’re struggling).  Right at the top where the lane meets the moorland road, straight across is a dirt-track onto the moor.  You’re going up there!  Walk up for about 350 yards, then go into the heather on your left.  About 20-30 yards in, keep your eyes peeled for the stone in the photo.  It’s low down, a few feet across either way, but easily missed when it gets covered in heather.

Archaeology & History

Todmoor carving’s cup & lines

Up here again today — Mikki Potts, Dave and me — this was first carving we came to.  It was first discovered by the late great Stuart Feather (1961) on one of his many forays onto these moors.  It’s a bittovan odd carving: deep wide grooves, seemingly carved out by humans, in which some other cups have then been carved; plus an odd scatter of other singular cup-markings, what looks like a double-cup, and a long winding line running from near the middle to the stone’s western edge.  All the carved elements have been etched onto the southern half of the stone.  The lovely little Todmor standing stone is about 50 yards northwest of here.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart, “Mid-Wharfedale Cup-and-Ring Markings. Nos. 5 & 6,” in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin, 6:7, 1961.
  3. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.879428, -1.834282 Todmoor Carving

Enclosure Stone, Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10983 43368

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.99 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Enclosure Carving, Stanbury Hill

From East Morton village, take the moorland road, east, and up the steep hill.  Where the road levels out there’s a left turn where a trackway leads onto the moor.  Go up here & keep walking till you hit a moorland ‘footpath’ signpost.  Stop here and walk due west (your left) onto the gently sloping rise and into the mass of the Stanbury Hill enclosure system.  Keep walking for 200 yards or so, where the land begins to slope down to the end of the spur; and just 50 yards before it drops down to the stream below you’ll find a cluster of carved rocks like the Lunar Stone, the Teaspoon Rock, Spotted Stone, etc, all scattered about.  Near these, you’ll find this one!

Archaeology & History

Not to be confused with the carving of the same name on the northern side of these moors (near the Green Crag Slack enclosure), this carved rock gets its name specifically from looking like a lay-out plan of some settlement or enclosure.  It’s unlikely that this title or description has anything to do with the carving, but its the impression it gave me when I first saw it!  But then once you look at the carving from another angle it takes on a different impression.

Enclosure Carving from above

First thought to have been found by Stuart Feather in 1978, it is one of many carvings that occur in what seems to be an extensive prehistoric enclosure or settlement.  There’s a complete cup-and-ring near the western end of the rock, with another distinct cup-marking by its side, and what looks to be a natural cup at the top-end of the stone.  But it was the other section of the carving on the central and eastern side which intrigued me: a curious ‘enclosure’ of lines, with a cup-marking in each section.  Cutting between the cup-and-ring and the enclosure lines is a natural long crack or fissure running roughly north-south through the rock.  It seemed to me (though I could be wrong) that a line had been pecked running along this natural crack — although in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) drawing they don’t highlight this.  It also seemed that the carved lines from ‘enclosure’ linked up to the pecked line that was carved along the natural fissure in the rock (as illustrated in my crap drawing!).

Shit drawing of CR99

As with the Lunar Stone nearby: it appears that either this stone was carved at different periods; or else for a long period of time much of the stone was exposed to the elements, whilst a section of it remained covered.  For the distinct cup-and-ring on the western-end is more worn, with more eroded evidence of pecking, than the extended lines on the eastern end of the rock.  I need to go back here and get some better images — and certainly do a much better drawing!

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Enclosure Stone CR-99

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Enclosure Stone CR-99 53.886384, -1.834392 Enclosure Stone CR-99

Littlestone, Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 11209 43488

Getting Here

Follow the directions to reach the nice Big Rock carving.  Once here, walk up the gentle slope less than 100 yards eastwards.  Get here before the heather grows back, otherwise it’s unlikely you’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

The Little Stone, Bingley Moor
The Little Stone, Bingley Moor

Not previously catalogued, this is just a small trivial little stone with just a single cup-marking on it.  There’s a somewhat debatable line which looks more likely on the photo than when you actually see it in situ.  As we had the Big Rock just down the slope from here, I thought this could be a little rock, or Little Stone (makes sense!).  It was found by your very own Paul and those of you with the wills to seek it out, don’t be disappointed as most are with such a Littlestone. It’s certainly not as rosy as those close by, but hey – it’s another carved rock!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Littlestone CR

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Littlestone CR 53.887458, -1.830949 Littlestone CR