West Agra, Gollinglith Foot, Colsterdale, North Yorkshire

Standing Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1516 8167

Getting Here

The forgotten standing stone of Agra Woods
The forgotten standing stone of Agra Woods

Take the same directions as if you’re visiting the multiple-ringed Agra Woods petroglyph (West Agra 8).  From just below here, keep to the woodland side, and follow the line of tall drystone walling along to the east for a hundred yards or more, keeping your eyes peeled for the stone in question, just in front of a nice oak tree.  You can’t really miss it!

Archaeology & History

Not too far away from the scattered cluster of West Agra’s cup-and-ring stones, can be found this very bulky six foot tall standing stone, near the edge of the old walling on the inner-side of the Agra Woods.  It was rediscovered by Paul Hornby on a Northern Antiquarian outing in May 2011, who told it to be “quite a massive thing!”  (I’ve yet to visit the site so can’t give my personal impressions of the site)

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

West Agra stone

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West Agra stone 54.230519, -1.768944 West Agra stone

West Agra Plantation 3, Colsterdale, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 14236 81675

Also Known as:

  1. WAP 3a & 3b (Brown & Brown)

Getting Here

West Agra 3 Rock

From Masham take the Fearby Road & go through the village, onwards & past Healey village and less than a mile on where the road forks, bear to the right past and go along the gorgeous little-known vale of Colsterdale.  Less than 2 miles on, walk up the notable track veering to your right that goes diagonally uphill and past the bottom of West Agra farm along the wallside till you reach the gate.  Thru the gate, walk immediately uphill on your right following the walling for a coupla hundred yards until you reach another gate into the field on your right.  You’ll see a cluster of large boulders in the first field, which you need to walk past and look at the large boulder up against the walling in the next field.  You can’t miss it!

Archaeology & History

First mentioned — albeit briefly — in Brown’s (2008) work, this large bedrock stone separated by a line of drystone walling has a good scattering of cups and lines, mainly on its central and westerly side.  A cluster of them were etched onto a natural rise near the middle of the rock, which itself has a long circuitous line running around its northern and western sides, which you can just see below centre in the photo (below left). Altogether on this side of the rock surface there appears to be some 56 cup-marks plus a number of long carved grooves running in differing directions.

Main rock surface
Cluster of cups (image by ‘QDanT’)

If we go over to the other side of the walling, we find more cup-markings.  This discovery led Paul & Barbara Brown (2008) to classify the site as being two separate carved rocks — calling them 3a and 3b — thinking that the much smaller carved area on the other side of the wall, “may have originated from WAP 3a’s quarried southern section.”  On this smaller section we find some 7 cup-markings with possible carved lines running off the edge of the stone and some running roughly parallel to the walling.  Whatever the truth of the Browns’ assertion, this is a fine carving well worth looking at!

References:

  1. Brown, Paul & Barbara, Prehistoric Rock Art in the Northern Dales, Tempus: Stroud 2008.

Links:

  1. Agra Wood Rock Art – more notes & images

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

West Agra CR-3

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West Agra CR-3 54.230590, -1.783118 West Agra CR-3

West Agra Plantation 2b, Colsterdale, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 14126 81669

Also Known as:

  1. WAP 2b (Brown & Brown)

Getting Here

West Agra Carving 2b

From Masham, take the Fearby Road to the village, keep going on the same road through Healey village and less than a mile on where the road forks, bear to the right past and go along the gorgeous little-known vale of Colsterdale.  It’s bloody beautiful!  Less than 2 miles on, walk up the notable track veering to your right that goes diagonally uphill and past the bottom of West Agra farm along the wallside till you get to the gate.  Thru the gate, follow the wall immediately uphill to the right for a coupla hundred yards until you reach a gate into the field on your right.  The cluster of large boulders in front of you is where you need to be!

Archaeology & History

Cluster of cups on WAP-2b (image by ‘QDanT’)

This carving is to be found on the largest of the boulders in this cluster.  It’s a large scattered cluster of cup-markings and natural bowls all over the rolling surface of the rock.  It was first described in the Browns’ (2008) survey, although as they have given this and one of the adjacent stones incorrect grid-references, it made it troublesome to initially work out which carving was which!  But the photos here certainly lets you know which one I’m describing!  In the event that I’ve got the wrong title for this one, someone lemme know and I’ll remedy the situation!

Brown (2008) describes this design as being “cups some linked by grooves, a rectangular feature and eroded cups and depressions.”  We couldn’t work out any further elements on the stone, but the cloudy conditions when we were here prohibited a decent view of the surface.

References:

  1. Brown, Paul & Barbara, Prehistoric Rock Art in the Northern Dales, Tempus: Stroud 2008.

Links:

  1. Agra Wood Rock Art – more notes & images

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

West Agra CR-2b

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West Agra CR-2b 54.230539, -1.784806 West Agra CR-2b

West Agra Carving, Colsterdale, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 14069 81627

Getting Here

Cup-marked stone near West Agra

From Masham, take the Fearby Road to the village, keep going on the same road through Healey village and less than a mile on where the road forks, bear to the right past and go along the gorgeous little-known vale of Colsterdale.  It’s bloody beautiful!  Less than 2 miles on, walk up the notable track veering to your right that goes diagonally uphill and past the bottom of West Agra farm along the wallside till you get to the gate.  Thru the gate, follow the wall immediately uphill to the right and, about 100 yards up, watch out for the large flat stone by the side of the footpath.  You can’t really miss it.

Archaeology & History

Initially we thought that this carving was one described in Paul Brown’s work as ‘West Agra Plantation no.1’, but this is clearly a different carved stone.  It is found close to WAP-1 (as he called it), but a few yard further up alongside the footpath by the walling.  With two large bowls on the top of the stone and another at the edge, two average-sized cup-markings are several inches away to the bottom-right of the largest bowl.  What seems to be a carved line runs from one of the cups.  We need to visit this stone again and look at it when there’s better lighting conditions so we can get a more accurate assessment of its nature.

References:

Brown, Paul & Barbara, Prehistoric Rock Art in the Northern Dales, Tempus: Stroud 2008.

Links:

  1. Agra Wood Rock Art – more notes & images

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

West Agra CR

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West Agra CR 54.230163, -1.785682 West Agra CR

Brown Beck Stone, Agra Moor, North Yorkshire

Standing Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13499 82440  —  NEW FIND

Also Known as:

  1. Agra Moor Standing Stone

Getting Here

Agra Moor standing stone

From Masham, take the Fearby Road to the village, keep going on the same road through Healey village and less than a mile on where the road forks, bear to the right past and go along the gorgeous little-known vale of Colsterdale.  It’s bloody beautiful!  Less than 2 miles on, walk up the notable track veering to your right, diagonally uphill.  Walk along till you get to the moor edge.  Go thru the gate and follow the swerving uphill path to the bottom of Slipstone Crags.  Once you level out at the Crags top, look across the small valley to your left and, on t’other side, you’ll notice a standing stone upright in the heather, just 100 yards on the flat on the other side of the valley.  Head right for it!

Archaeology & History

Looking west

There are no known written references to this standing stone, which we visited for the first time yesterday, in a brief wander to the nearby Agra Woods cup-and-ring stones a few hundred yards southeast.  The monolith stands some four-and-half-feet tall and, at its base, is more than three feet broad and just one foot wide.  Just to its side and almost completely covered in peat and vegetation is what may have been another once-upright companion asleep in the Earth.  Another possibly fallen stone is less than 10 yards west.  The upright stands on the flat moorland overlooking the confluence of two (once) fast-flowing waters of Brown Beck and Birk Gill; and the landscape that reaches out from here is something to behold!

We found the remains of other old monuments on the moor, but some were obviously related to the industrial mining not far away.  However, two or three other small upright stones and a large stone circular structure were also located which very obviously predated any industrial or medieval workings.  We need to revisit this moorland and spend more time exploring to see what other things are hidden, lost midst the peat and heather.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Brown Beck stone

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Brown Beck stone 54.237485, -1.794389 Brown Beck stone

West Agra Plantation 8, Colsterdale, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 14250 81756

Also Known as:

  1. WAP 8 (Brown & Brown)

Getting Here

The ‘West Agra 8’ Stone (after ‘QDanT’)

From Masham, head westwards along the country lanes to Fearby village (passing the old cross on the green), through old Healey village (where once stood four stone circles, seemingly destroyed) and onwards to Gollinglith.  From here, keep going up the winding steep lane until you’re at the top where, on the right-hand side of the road, a footpath takes you diagonally northwest over the uphill fields.  When you hit the walling which leads to the woods, follow it up and, once at the corner of the trees, follow the track back eastwards along the wall edge, keeping your eyes peeled when you pass the second line of walling that runs down the slope.  You’re damn close!

Archaeology & History

One of a cluster of fascinating carvings in this remote region of the upland Dales, this is perhaps the most impressive multiple-ringed carving of the group, known collectively as the West Agra Plantation group.  The carving was rediscovered sometime in 2002 by Emily McIntosh and was described by Brown & Brown (2008) thus:

“This boulder measures 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.28m and has a multiringed motif 50cm in diameter linked by a number of grooves and isolated cups.”

Teddy with his rings! (after ‘QDanT’)
Primary cup-and-multiple-rings (after ‘QDanT’)

But this barely does the stone justice.  The main focus is on the cup with six surrounding rings, intersected by an intrusive double-line from outside the series of rings then running into the central ring itself — though not touching the focal cup at the very centre.  This double line points to the southeast and is somewhat akin to a sliver of light running to or from old solar designs.  It is a little bit like some aspects of the carved stones found on Ilkley’s Panorama Stones (though Ilkley’s carvings are much fainter).  At the end of the intrusive double-line is a small cluster of cup-marks.  There’s also another curious singular carved line running outwards from the third ring, running out of the concentric rings then heading off further down the stone.  More cups and lines scatter other parts of the stone and there may be another faint line running from near the central cup all the way out of the rings close to the main ‘ray’ of lines.

A large standing stone can be found a few hundred yards along the wallside east of here.

Apparently the woodland in which this carving (and its associates) can be found is supposedly ‘private’ and one is supposed to contact some group calling itself Swinton Estates to set foot in the woods.  Not the sorta practice we usually put up with in Yorkshire.  If anyone has their contact details, please add them below in the event that anyone has need to ask ’em about going for a walk here.

References:

  1. Brown, Paul & Barbara, Prehistoric Rock Art in the Northern Dales, Tempus: Stroud 2008.

Links:

  1. Agra Wood Rock Art – more notes & images

AcknowledgementsHuge thanks to the pseudonymous ‘QDanT‘ for use of the photos in this profile.  Cheers Danny!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

West Agra CR-8

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West Agra CR-8 54.231318, -1.782899 West Agra CR-8