Rivock Well, Silsden, West Yorkshire

Healing Well:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07782 44863

Getting Here

Rivock Well pool

From the B6265 valley road between Bingley and Keighley, just near Riddlesden Hall, take the road up and over the canal into Riddlesden, bearing left up past West Riddlesden Hall and up Banks Lane. As you reach the T-junction at the top, where you hit the Silsden Road that goes round the moors, park up.Cross the road and follow the footpath diagonally across the bottom of the field, then when you hit the track, follow it up through the closed gates into the woods.  A half-mile along the track, watch out for the dark pool a few yards beneath you on your left.  That’s it!

Archaeology & History

The spirit and feel of this pool is a curious one: still, calming, but with a slight sense of unease at times.  It felt like this before the large forestry plantation was planted around it — so it’s good to know it’s kept its spirit intact.  I’m not quite sure how long it will last though… The small spring of water from just above the edge of the pool which in part feeds it, tastes good and refreshing after a good downpour, but sometimes in recent years the waters have slowed somewhat compared to earlier decades — an unhealthy state of affairs that’s happening all over the world.

A favourite haunt for very colourful dragonflies, deer, pheasant and other animals, very little has been written about this site.  Said by place-name authorities to get its name from an old oak that once stood by its side, the name must be pretty old as no remains of such a tree has been mentioned by any antiquarians in the last 200 years.  But the first element in the place-name “riv-ock” is an intriguing puzzle.  Does it mean simply a split oak?  Or was it a more regal in nature, and derive from the old Gaelic Righ, (proncounced ‘ree’) meaning a King’s Oak?  More probably the name relates to the “well by the twisted oak,” from the dialect word, rive, or ‘twisted’.  However, when we begin exploring dialect variations on this word, a whole host of possible meanings emerge!

Ancient people who lived on these moors obviously used this well — and no doubt had old tales of its medicinal virtues, but sadly these are lost.  All we have to remind us that our ancestors came here are the numerous cup-and-ring stones found at Rivock Edge itself, a short distance southeast of here…

References:

  1. Whelan, Edna & Taylor, Ian, Yorkshire Holy Wells and Sacred Springs, Northern Lights: Dunnington 1989.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.899878, -1.883054 Rivock Well

Black Pots Stone, Silsden, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 0782 4623

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.36 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.77 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

From Silsden, take the moorland road up to Brunthwaite (ask a local if you’re in doubt).  As you get near the top of the moorland road, take the right turn (east) on the track past the Doubler Stones, until you reach the last cottage before the woodland called Black Pots.  Go onto the moorland behind the cottage, walking north, crossing the stream and you’ll see a large boulder stuck on its own close by.  That’s it!

Archaeology & History

Stuart Feather’s 1964 image

On another wander on these moors t’other day, we ventured to the Doubler Stones and whilst there I had a vague recollection of another decent-looking carving west of them, just above the hidden house at Black Pots, when I was a teenager. When I got home I rummaged through some of my old notebooks and found the drawing I made of it all those years ago.  Tis a decent carving consisting of 3 distinct cups encircled, though not completely, in an elongated arc. A cup-and-ring is just above this, and Boughey & Vickerman (2003) highlight another couple of cups which I didn’t manage to see when I was there as a kid. Nor for that matter did Stuart Feather, who was the first person to write about it in the Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin in 1964.  Itis a good carving in a good spot, with excellent views to the south and west.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart, “Mid-Wharfedale Cup-and-Ring Markings: no.24 – Black Pots, Silsden, near Keighley,” in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin, 9:7, 1964.
  3. Hedges, John, The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Black Pots Stone

loading map - please wait...

Black Pots Stone 53.912164, -1.882441 Black Pots Stone

Split Rock, Rivock, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07989 44208

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.39 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.80 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Split Rock, Rivock
Split Rock, Rivock

Head up to Rivock’s Wondjina Stone carving, then keep going east to the Long Rock.  Wander 100 or more further east till you see the fence, and about 50 yards before this check out the large rocks which you’ll notice near to each other.  One of them is this Split Rock!

Archaeology & History

First described in Hedges’ (1986) survey, this is a large flattish boulder, split across one side, with two distinct cup-marks on its eastern side and a number of other ‘possibles’ scattering the surface.  The most intriguing bit to this rock is on its lower eastern side.  Here’s what Boughey & Vickerman (2003) described as,

CR80-2
Deep cup-and-half-ring

“one clear cup (doubtful) discovered under turf…at extreme lower SE corner, with possible attempt at pecked partial ring.”

This cup they describe as “doubtful” is quite deep, but the half-ring on its northern side has definite artificial peck-marks.  I’m more of the opinion that this cup-and-half-ring is man-made — though whether it was done in more recent years is the more debatable aspect here.  I’ll try getting some better images (and a drawing) of this stone when we’re next up here.

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.893988, -1.879920 Split Rock CR

Long Stone, Rivock, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07833 44313

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.78 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Head up to the lovely Wondjina Stone carving, then walk east towards the triangulation pillar. Keep going, over the wall – and keep going straight on, over the next wall (no footpaths up here at all).  You’re now into rough heathland, but if you’re a real cup-and-ring freak, keep heading another 150 yards east, zigzagging slightly.  You’ll eventually find it!

Archaeology & History

CR78
Long Rock carving, Rivock

A quite large, smooth earthfast rock, but nowt much to look at unless you’re one of the crazy bunch!  This is just another one of our basic cup-marked rocks with very little modern archaeo-history attached.  There are perhaps as many as four cup-markings etched onto the stone: two at the northern end, one a little further down (not mentioned in Boughey & Vickerman’s survey) and another one cited towards the south end of the stone.  Gotta be honest though: a couple of them are slightly dubious and may be natural — but hopefully not! (soz about the crap photo of this poor carving; but the light was shit & our camera packed-up!)

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Long Stone CR

loading map - please wait...

Long Stone CR 53.894934, -1.882291 Long Stone CR

Ant’s Stone, Rivock, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 0791 4422

Archaeology & History

Ant Stone, uncovered
Ant Stone, uncovered

Discovered today, amidst a cluster of other carvings not previously catalogued.  This was hidden beneath a mass of vegetation, but after cutting and digging into the peat on top of the stone, several cup-marks became evident.  By the side of the rock, measuring roughly 8 feet by 5 feet, was a small ant’s nest — hence the convenient name of the carving.

Central design of the carving
Central design of the carving

The main feature is the large, perhaps natural cup-mark, about 3 inches across.  But three distinct artificial cup-markings were etched around the edges of this larger ‘cup’.  When we found this stone, the daylight was nearing its end and we were unable to ascertain any further features carved onto the rock.  Several other carvings were close by, none of which were included in the survey by Boughey and Vickerman. (2003)  After we’d finished here, we covered the stone back over with its peaty quilt and hoped that the ants weren’t too pissed off about us disturbing them…

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Ant Stone CR

loading map - please wait...

Ant Stone CR 53.894123, -1.881056 Ant Stone CR

Abacus Stone, Holden, Silsden, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone (lost):  OS Grid Reference – SE 060 440

Getting Here

This carving is somewhere between Rivock’s western woodland edge, into the meadowlands next to it, down towards Robin Hood’s Wood.  Good luck if you find it!

Archaeology & History

The lost Abacus Stone design
The lost Abacus Stone design

I found this carved ‘design’ when I was but a nipper, as they say!  I was up all day, bimbling abaat checking out the stones and stuff, with notepad and pencil and found a number of cup-marked stones that I hadn’t come across in Stuart Feather’s surveys (the Hedge’s [1986] survey hadn’t been published at the time).   I’ve been back up round the Holden and Robin Hood’s Wood district several times in recent months, hoping to re-locate this carving — but without success.  I recall that when I found it all those years ago, how the design itself seemed almost ‘numeric’ in quality to look at (hence its title) and was hoping to come across it again, but the little fella’s hiding away somewhere!

The faded design was etched onto a small, slightly raised natural  stone, no more than 3ft x 3ft and about 2 feet high.  I thought that it might have been Boughey & Vickerman’s carving number 53 (Hedges survey, no.17), but it wasn’t to be. If anyone finds it again, I’d love to know!

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, Ramblings of Archaeological Remnants in West Yorkshire, unpublished: Shipley 1984.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.898946, -1.896542 Abacus Stone CR

Dump Stone, Holden, Silsden, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 0705 4490

Getting Here

Top view of cup-marks

Follow the same directions as to reach Holden’s Buttock Stone, then north over the field and through the gate towards the Rough Holden Carving.  As you approach here, keep your eyes peeled for a clump of boulders a little further down the field which stand out.  That’s where you wanna be!

Archaeology & History

Found by the old Keighley volunteer, Michala Potts of Bracken Bank, a few weeks back (Friday, June 12, 2009), this previously undiscovered cup-marked boulder is amidst a scatter of boulders piled-up with each other following a field-clearance in recent years.  It doesn’t seem to be in its original position, but obviously came from the fields hereby.

Cup-Marks on vertical face
Side view of cup-marks

The first view we got indicated 2 or 3 cup-markings on its upper surface; but then as we wandered round it and the adjacent rocks, it seemed that several others appear to have been etched on the vertical face, as shown in one of the photos.  The light wasn’t too good by the time we found this (it was one of those days where cloud and sun kept the cup-marks hidden at times!) and then a drizzle came along and stopped a sketch of the stone.  But it’s obvious there are 3-4 cup-markings on the upper surface and at least 3 carved on its side.  Next time up there we’ll hopefully get better light!

One of the land-owners or tenant farmers hereby has little respect for the prehistoric remains in this area and, in all honesty, I’d expect a number of the petroglyphs to be destroyed in the coming years.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Dump Stone CR

loading map - please wait...

Dump Stone CR 53.900221, -1.894193 Dump Stone CR

Robin Hood’s Wood CR-3, Silsden, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 06530 44898

Also Known as:

  1. Holden CR1

Getting Here

Follow the same directions to reach the Robin Hood’s Wood Stone, but head from there to the dirt-track about 30 yards away.  This stone is just 10-15 yards on the south-side near the bend in the track.  Look around!

Archaeology & History

Holden Cup-Marked Rock
Holden Cup-Marked Rock

If you can find this stone, the 2-cupped Robin Hood’s Wood Stone carving is only about 15 yards SW.  But this poor example is a mere single cup-mark sitting near the centre of a large flat rock, half-covered in vegetation like its nearby compatriot.  There’s a faint possibility of a second cup-mark on the rock, but it’s pushing it a bit!  Thanks to the vegetation cover on the majority of the rock, the cup’s in a good state of preservation.  Nowt much to shout about unless you’re a real cup-and-ring nut!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Robin Hood Wood CR-3

loading map - please wait...

Robin Hood Wood CR-3 53.900210, -1.902107 Robin Hood Wood CR-3

Robin Hood’s Wood CR-2, Silsden, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 06521 44887

Getting Here

Follow the same directions for reaching the Baldwin Stone.  From here, with your back to the wall, face the small remnants of Robin Hood’s Wood and walk straight to where the game-keeper’s stuff is in the trees 150 yards straight in front.  Go through the small copse and out the other side, in a straight line for another 70 yards.  This stone’s mainly covered over with vegetation (and we covered most of it back over again) so you might have trouble finding it.  But with patience and a good nose, you’ll find it hereabouts!

Archaeology & History

Robin Hood's Wood Cup-Marks
Robin Hood’s Wood Cup-Marks

Another previously undiscovered carving, found yesterday (12.6.09) by Michala Potts after rummaging for sometime amidst the mass of Juncus grasses which cover the plain immediately north of Robin Hood’s Wood.  Not much to see unless you’re a real rock-art freak, as we only have two definite cup-markings on the stone.  A possible third cup can be seen closer to the NW edge, where the rock becomes more crystalline.

I was rather intrigued by Mikki’s find, as when she shouted me over, found that she’d rolled much of the vegetation back that had been covering the stone.  Without rolling the grasses back from the surface, she wouldn’t have found the cup-marks; and considering the number of stones that scatter this plain, I asked why she’d chosen to uncover this one and not the others.

“It told me to!” she said in that blunt Yorkshire way.

“Aaahhh,” I thought…

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Robin Hood's Wood CR-2

loading map - please wait...

Robin Hood\'s Wood CR-2 53.900111, -1.902244 Robin Hood\'s Wood CR-2

Rough Holden CR-7, Silsden, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 06918 45020

Getting Here

Rough Holden Cup-and-Ring Stone

Another carving that might take a bitta finding.  Follow the same directions for reaching the Holden Buttock Stone, going past it towards the fence 100 yards away.  Go through the gate and walk along the path for a couple of hundred yards.  As you walk down, you’ll eventually see the cluster of rocks amidst which lives the Dump Stone carving.  This, the Rough Holden cup-and-ring, is off the path (right) before you get to them in the grasses.  Look around.

Archaeology & History

Rediscovered in June 2009 by Michala Potts and I, this little stone at first only appeared to possess a few cup-markings, but the more we looked at it, the more obvious it became that one of the cups had a nice ring surrounding it.  Unfortunately this didn’t come out at all well in any of the photos we took, so we need to another visit here whe the sunlight’s right to get a decent image.  Aswell as that, the drawing we did of the basic design appears to be missing what looks another blatant cup-marking near the centre of the rock, which did not seem at all obvious to the naked eye when we found it. (such are the delights of assessing cup&rings!)

Rough Holden cup-marks
Rough Holden cup-marks
First sketch of the stone
Basic sketch of the stone

The main cluster of cups occurs on the northern-edge of the stone, where a couple of them seem linked by linear features.  There are also what may be a cup or three on the vertical edge of the rock, below these cups – but this needs looking at again the better lighting.   The cup-and-ring is very faint, but once noticed it become increasingly obvious that it’s there, and most of the ring can be traced with ease by running one’s finger along the groove.  Mikki reckons the ring runs all the way round the cup (she’s probably right), where as I could only work it out running 75% of the way round.  The line which runs off above the ring seems to link up with what looks like another obvious cup-marking on the photo.  We’ll have to check it out properly next time we’re up there!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.901302, -1.896199 Rough Holden CR-7