Longbarrow Field, Timble, North Yorkshire

Cairn (lost):  OS Grid Reference — SE 18 53

Archaeology & History

Described in the Field Lore of Timble village by William Grainge (1895) are the names and short histories of some of the local place-names—with this in particular standing out like a veritable sore thumb!  Quite plainly, as Grainge told us,

“The name ‘Longbarrows’ is indicative of some burial mounds of a very early day.  None exist at present.  The land is under the plough, and is about the best in the township.”

But I cannot locate the position of this long-lost site and it’s not shown on any of the early OS-maps hereby.  Grainge said that the land on which it once stood was owned by a local farmer called Charles Dickinson, who leased it out to others.  He wrote:

“Dickinson had in Longbarrows 3 roods* and 23 perches*, and William Jackson’s share in Longbarrows was 1 acre, 3 roods and 21 perches.  Besides these, John Ward of Nether Timble had 1 rood and 17 perches int he same field, a long narrow slip without fence, between Dickinson’s and Jackson’s lots.”

Does anyone know where this was?  One of my suspects is the gathering place of the Fewston witches, a half-mile south of the village; but no remains of anything can be found there today and I may just be barking up the wrong tree.

The area south and west of here is rich in little-known prehistoric heritage, from the cairn-fields of Askwith Moor, the cairn circle at Snowden Crags, the settlements of Snowden Carr and the extensive petroglyphs all over the place!  Giants cairns of the early Bronze Age and neolithic period were also once more numerous upon the moors to the west and south, so the former existence of a long barrow in Timble is not unusual.  But where was it?!

References:

  1. Grainge, William, The History and Topography of the Townships of Little Timble, Great Timble and the Hamlet of Snowden, William Walker: Otley 1895.

*  A rood is an English unit of area, equal to a quarter of an acre or 10,890 square feet; a perch was a more variable unit of measure, being lengths of 1612, 18, 21, 24 and 25 square feet.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian 

 

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  53.972332, -1.726953 Longbarrows Field

Picketts Beck East, Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1708 5054 —  NEW FIND

Getting Here

Cup-and-ring stone in situ
Cup-and-ring stone in situ

From the Askwith Moor Road parking spot, head across the road and take the directions to the Woman Stone carving about 510 yards (467m) across the moors to the west.  From here, look straight down the slope and head towards the largest boulder at the bottom, 20-30 yards away.  About 10-20 yards to the right of this, zigzag about in the vegetation until you find the small stone amidst the bracken.  You’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

This small stone, whose natural contours and cracks have been utilised in the design of the petroglyph, may once have been part of a prehistoric tomb, perhaps rolled or thrown downhill from the nearby Askwith Moor Cairnfield.  I say this due to the size and portability of the stone, i.e., it’s small and barely earthfast, giving an increased likelihood that its present position was not its original one.  But we might never know…

Rough sketch of the design
Rough sketch of the design
Close-up of the carving
Close-up of the carving

It’s almost archetypal in design, being a primary cup-and-ring, with what appears to be a faint inner ring etched marginally within the larger notable incomplete circle, just an inch beyond the inner central cup.  From this same cup runs a carved line, out to the near edge of the small stone.  Single cup-marks occur on the edges of the rock, as can be seen in the photos: three, possibly four of them.  One of the cups, where the stone narrows to a rounded point, may also have had a partial ring around it.  When we found this stone a few weeks ago, the day was grey and overcast and the light was poor, so our photos do not highlight the carving too well.

(Note: the OS grid-reference for this stone is an approximation: pretty damn close, but not close enough. If someone ventures here and can get the exact grid-ref, we’d be most grateful.)

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Pickets Beck CR

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Pickets Beck CR 53.950681, -1.741236 Pickets Beck CR

Wester Cairnfield (02), Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1698 5070

Getting Here

Faint cupmarks clearly visible
Faint cupmarks clearly visible

From the Askwith Moor Road parking spot, head west to the Askwith Moor cairnfield. Keep walking west, going downhill past the main cluster of rocks.  If you begin zigzagging amidst the heather hereby, you’ll eventually come across this relatively small stone which, even when the heather is deep, thankfully rises to the surface.  The Wester Cairnfield 1 carving is close by.

Archaeology & History

Although I presumed that Graeme Chappell and I found this petroglyph when we surveyed the area in the 1990s, I cannot find an early account of it in my files, so must presume that when James Elkington, James Turner and I came across it a few weeks ago, it was the first view of the stone in many a century… It’s another simple carving, only of interest to the mad rock art hunters out there.

...and from another angle
…and from another angle

When we first found it, it seemed to me (with the sunlight effects on the stone) that two cup-marks had been etched here; but as Mr Elkington pointed out, from the angle he was looking at the stone, there were another two.  He was right.  But it’s nothing special to look at, sadly, and is probably only of interest to the real hardcore petroglyph nutters amongst you. (please note that the grid-ref for this carving needs revising and may be 50 yards either side of the one given)

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Wester Cairnfield CR-2

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Wester Cairnfield CR-2 53.952122, -1.742751 Wester Cairnfield CR-2

Wester Cairnfield (01), Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 16966 50674

Getting Here

Cup-mark near top-right
Cup-mark near top-right

From the Askwith Moor Lane parking site, take the directions to the Askwith Moor Cairnfield.  Walk westwards for about 100 yards down the gradual slope, towards the boggy land below, but before reaching the reeds, still in the moorland heather, there are a scatter of rocks.  Just keep zigzagging about until you find it. It’s a reasonably large stone.

Archaeology & History

'Cup mark' on vertical face
‘Cup mark’ on vertical face

This is one of several simple cup-marked stones found down the slopes about 100 yards west of the Askwith Moor Cairnfield.  When James Elkington, James Turner and I re-surveyed this area again recently, I wondered whether it was a newbie or had already been located when Graeme Chappell and I did our tedious surveying of this region in the 1990s—and it turned out that we did!  The carving is nothing special to look at, even if you’re a petroglyph zealot.  Comprising of a distinct single cup-mark on the top nose of the rock, another is visible on the vertical south face, and another possible is on its eastern face.

1894 map of shooting target
1894 map of shooting target

When we look at the early maps of this area, we find that to the north and south of this stone once existed ‘Shooting Houses’.  As we can see on the attached map, the position of one of the shooting targets is very close to the location of this stone and so we must conclude that the cups on the vertical face were done by gunshot and are not prehistoric. However, the distinct cup on top of the stone retains its prehistoric link.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Wester Cairnfield CR-1

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Wester Cairnfield CR-1 53.951889, -1.742966 Wester Cairnfield CR-1

Lower Lanshaw Stone (02), Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 16059 50875

Getting Here

Lanshaw cup-and-ring nearby
Lanshaw cup-and-ring stone

Start at the Askwith Moor parking spot on Askwith Moor Road, then walk down the road (south) 300 yards till you reach the gate and track on the other side of the road, heading southeast.  Following the track onto the moor and take the footpath on your right after 75 yards. Follow this along until you hit the gate & fence.  Climb over this, then follow the same fence along (left) and down, and keep following the fence and walling all the way on until you reach the very bottom southwestern edge of Askwith Moor itself.  Now, walk up the slope to your right and, near the top of this rise 250 yards away, past Lower Lanshaw 01 carving, in some ancient walling, you’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

A very faded cup-and-ring carving can be found about 30 yards northeast of the Lower Lanshaw cup-marked stone, just as the hill slopes down to the overgrown stream.  It rests on the lower edges of the prehistoric (probably Bronze Age) enclosure in which other archaeological remains can be found.  Although the photo here highlights what seems to be 3 cups on the south-face of the rock, only one of them seems authentic.  A pecked “line” also seemed evident, but the light conditions were poor when we were here.  It does seem that there’s a faded ring around one of the cups, as you can see in the photo.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Lower Lanshaw CR-2

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Lower Lanshaw CR-2 53.953724, -1.756776 Lower Lanshaw CR-2

Lippersley Pike, Denton Moor, North Yorkshire

Cairn:  OS Grid Reference – SE 14335 52478

Getting Here

Follow the directions to reach the Lippersley Pike cup-marked stone, then keep walking westwards, but go up the slope immediately on your right (north) and walk upwards along the path to the notable stone structure at the top-end of the ridge a coupla hundred yards ahead.  Once there, you’re standing on it!

Archaeology & History

Lippersley Pike & shooter’s butt

A little known site with some excellent 360° views all round, reaching as far west as Pendle Hill, north past Simon’s Seat, and east onto the far reaches of the North York Moors.  The landscape here is truly superb!  And humans have been here since, it would seem, mesolithic periods at least, if Cowling’s finds are owt to go by! For although he described the much denuded tomb that we can still see under the herbage and recently-built shelter, there was also, “on the northern slope…a small occupation immediately below the summit on the northern side.”  We found remains of it on our visit here the other day.  But of the tomb itself — which Mr Cowling thought was neolithic in age — he wrote:

“The highest point of Lippersley Pike, on Denton Moor, is crowned by a stone cairn 1083 feet above sea level, and overlooks, on the northern side, a small site which appears to have been occupied by the ‘Broad Blade’ people, for there occur several pieces of patinated flint, along with scrapers and worked blades.”

Aerial view of Lippersley Pike

Cowling then describes a number of flints and other prehistoric working utensils that he found all round here.  The remains of the cairn measure some 25 feet east-west and 23 feet north-south.  There has been no excavation here, although the fella’s who dug out much of the stone to build the shooter’s butt on its top may have found summat, but have kept it quiet!

The cairn is an ancient marker along the boundary line marking the townships of Denton and Great Timble and was visited in perambulation walks in previous centuries.  Grainge (1871) describes the extensive perambulation in his Knaresborough Forest work.  ‘Lippersley’ itself first appears in records from 1576, although A.H. Smith (1963:5) does not suggest an etymology.  The place is worth visiting as a good starting point to explore the other little-known prehistoric remains on these moors, including the Crow Well settlement, the Heligar Pike tomb, etc, etc.

References:

  1. Cowling, E.T., Rombald’s Way: A Prehistory of Mid-Wharfedale, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  2. Grainge, William, The History and Topography of Harrogate and the Forest of Knaresborough, John Russell Smith: London 1871.
  3. Grainge, William, The History and Topography of the Townships of Little Timble, Great Timble and the Hamlet of Snowden, William Walker: Otley 1895.
  4. Smith, A.H., The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire – volume 5, Cambridge University Press 1963.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Lippersley Pike cairn

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Lippersley Pike cairn 53.968181, -1.782972 Lippersley Pike cairn

Eagle Stone, Blubberhouses Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 14605 53815

Also Known as:

  1. Eagles Stone
Eagle Stone

Getting Here

To get here, follow the same directions as you would to reach the curious Green Plain settlement; but just before you reach that, you’ll notice this rather large boulder known as the Eagle Stone right in front of you next to the ever-decreasing stream.  Wander down and give it a fondle — you can’t really miss it!

Archaeology & History

Cupmarks on top (image by Graeme Chappell)

Curiously not included in Boughey & Vickerman’s rock-art survey (2003), this large boulder stands just below the ancient ford which crosses Sun Bank Gill and is pitted with a number of cup-marks on its top (though not the 38 we counted when Graeme Chappell and I in the early 1990s), plus a large “bowl”, not unlike the Wart Well on top of Almscliffe Crags and other such sites.  Although some of the cups seem natural, others are artificial — as even an English Heritage rock art student could tell you!  A small cluster of ‘cups’ are on top of the stone, but a number of them have been etched onto the sloping southern face; a curved line running across the rock-face towards these cups may be natural.

The straight track above you was known as Watling Street in bygone years and was the old Roman road running between Ilkley and Aldborough.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.980190, -1.778792 Eagle Stone

Middleton Moor Carving (447), North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10931 51278

Getting Here

Follow the same directions as to reach the so-called Smiley Stone carving and look just 10 yards SE.

Archaeology & History

About 10 yards away from the Smiley Stone is another of Middleton Moor’s ‘dubious carvings’ to me. I remember seeing the drawing of this years back, perhaps a decade after Stuart Feather first described it (1966) and remember thinking it looked a bloody good carving. But when I saw it for the first time in February 2005 with Richard Stroud, not only could I hardly see what was supposed to be there, but once I’d seen the alleged design, some doubt came over me regarding its archaic nature. That doubt still remains.

Faint cups & lines
Design on carving 447

There certainly seems to be a few faded cup-marks on the stone — which looks to be broken from a larger, circular worked stone of a much more modern age (an old mill stone perhaps?) — but the lines which both Feather and the grand pair of Boughey & Vickerman (2003) copy into their survey, are all too vague and certainly not ancient in my book.  Perhaps some local folk were still etching cup-marks and lines onto stones into the medieval period and later, like the ones found on the Churn Milk Joan monolith near Hebden Bridge…

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.47: Middleton Moor, Ilkley,” in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Gorup Bulletin, 11:9, 1966.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Middleton Moor CR-447

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Middleton Moor CR-447 53.957479, -1.834903 Middleton Moor CR-447

Middleton Moor Carving (484), North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 11650 51623

Getting Here

Go over Ilkley Bridge and take your first left, on & over the roundabout, then follow the road as it bends uphill.  Keep going until you reach the fields and moors either side of you, up Hardings Lane, stopping at the bend in the land where it meets a couple of dirt-tracks.  Go up the track onto the moor and follow this right into the moorland (avoiding the path to your right after a few hundred yards) where it follows the edge of the walling again.  After a few hundred yards there’s a gate on your right.  Go thru this and, after 40-50 yards, walk up into the heather.  You’re damn close!

Carving no.484

Archaeology & History

This is another cup-marked stone that’ll only be of interest to the petroglyphic purists amongst you, as it’s another one of those incredibly interesting single cup-marked rocks — this time with an additional single line running from it!  WOWWWW….! The photo here just about does it justice, as in some light conditions you wouldn’t even notice it.  There’s also the possibility that this ‘carving’ was actually Nature’s handiwork.

It was first described by our old mate Stuart Feather in 1965, and was then included in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey as stone 484, describing it as, “medium-sized, approximately square rock of fairly smooth grit.  One cup with groove leading from it.”

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart, “Mid-Wharfedale Cup-and-Ring Markings: Nos. 36, 37 and 38, Middleton Moor, Ilkley,” in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin, volume 10, 1965.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: to Richard Stroud for use of his photo

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Middleton Moor CR-484

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Middleton Moor CR-484 53.960564, -1.823933 Middleton Moor CR-484

Askwith Moor Carving 529, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 17396 50745

Getting Here

To be found a couple of hundred yards west of Askwith Moor Road, head towards the bottom of the row of grouse-butts, following the fence that runs into the moorland across from the dusty car-park.

Archaeology & History

Single cup-marked stone

This single cup-marked stone — list as carved stone no.529 in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey — was reported when some English Heritage doods came here and found this small upright stone (probably part of a larger prehistoric monument, e.g., walling or cairn) and gave the cup-marking their “all clear” stamp and thought it authentic.  But if memory serves me right (which it doesn’t always do these days!), I’m pretty sure Graeme Chappell came across this possible carving in the early 1990s during one of our many forays over these moors.  It’s a cute little thing — though only for the purists amongst you perhaps — but, of course, needs to be seen in the context of its proximity to the many other prehistoric monuments across this moorland plain.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Askwith Moor CR-529

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Askwith Moor CR-529 53.952513, -1.736410 Askwith Moor CR-529