Eastwoods Rough 3, Dacre, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1850 6177

Getting Here

Cup-marked stone

Follow the same directions as if you’re going to the excellent Morphing Stone cup-and-ring carving.  From the carving, look up the field to the where the dirt-track is and, by the closest gate with a tree near it, walk straight towards it.  Roughly halfway between the Morphing Stone and the gate you’ll find — eventually — the small stone in the photo with well-defined cups on it.  You might need to wander back and forth until you find it, as there’s many rocks to check out here!

Archaeology & History

Possible cup-marked rock

This small cup-marked stone was rediscovered by Danny Tiernan in the late afternoon of Thursday, August 18, 2011, just as the heavens opened and the rains poured down!  With at least one well-defined cup-mark and another two near the edge of the stone where the grasses had grown, this stone probably needs another look at it, as there may be more beneath the surface, much like when we first found at Morphing Stone. Danny also found and photographed another larger boulder, a bit further up the field closer to the fence, where what may be a single cup-mark is clearly seen living on top of the rock.  It’s one of those dodgy English Heritage ones though, so I’ll let those ‘qualified’ chaps check this one out and give it their expertise!  It could well be another unrecorded cup-marked stone though…

Links:

  1. Eastwoods Rough & other Nearby Sites

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks to ‘QDanT’ for him & Teddy’s photos, above.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  54.051562, -1.718921 Eastwoods Rough CR3

Guisecliff Wood (629), Bewerley, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 16415 63565

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.629 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

A box of cup-and-rings!

Takes a bitta finding this one – especially a this time of year when the bracken’s high – but it’s worth the walk.  You’re probably best finding your way to the open-air carving on the slopes above Westcliff Farm, the Guisecliff Wood 626 carving (it’s pretty easy to find).  From here, walk eastwards across the top of the two fields until you hit the old gate that take you back into the woods.  Now it gets difficult!  Walk less than 100 yards in the same direction, if you’re lucky, along the small footpath that runs pretty level through the trees, keeping your eyes peeled for a large sloping rock above you.  I’d say that it’s probably best to start checking the relevant rocks (large ones) after 50 yards in the trees, just to be on the safe side.  If you aint been here before it’s probably best to check it out at the end of Winter or during Spring time.  Good luck!

Archaeology & History

As noted by several people in our visit here the other day, some aspects of this carving are similar in design to the Tree of Life Stone on the eastern edge of Askwith Moor, 10 miles south of here.  But the features on this large carved rock have intriguing elements of their own here: not least of which is the large square ‘box’ into which a cluster of otherwise normal cup-and-rings are enclosed.  It’s a unique feature in prehistoric carvings in this part of the world — although such ‘box’ motifs can be seen further north at Dod Law in Northumberland.

The fainter cup-and-rings
Boughey & Vickerman’s 2003 drawing

There are two distinct sections of carvings on the stone, both of which have a similar tree-motif patterns, but the boxed one grabs your attention more once you’ve sat with the stone for a while. The other small cluster of cups are a little more difficult to notice, but once you see them they almost grow into life!  You can just make out the surrounding rings and lines around some of these fainter cups, which I tried to capture in the photos (but without much success).

Our visit here didn’t pass without some voicing the thought that ‘box’ section could have been added at a much later date — perhaps a Victorian addition?  But we could be way off the mark with that one!

There’s every likelihood of other carvings being found in and above the woodlands here, though any further exploratory excursions here can wait till winter time, as the Nature’s summer growth here is considerable and covers most of the rocks in green.  The carving was first described in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) text as a

“Very large rock with extensive flat surface on which there seems to be two separate designs.  Seven cups are joined in a branch-like pattern, the whole within a square groove from which the ‘stem’ of the branch just protrudes; away from this is an approximately linear feature with three cups enclosed by linked rings at one end and then six more cups with a partial ring.”

If you’re a rock art enthusiast, or a real healthy heathen, this site is well worth checking out!

References:

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

Links:

  1. More images of Guisecliff Wood carvings

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Guisecliff Wood CR-629

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Guisecliff Wood CR-629 54.067765, -1.750671 Guisecliff Wood CR-629

Guisecliff Wood (626), Bewerley, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 16078 63641

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.626
  2. Hogback Stone
  3. Lower Intake carving
Carving 626, looking NNW

Getting Here

From Pateley Bridge take the B6265 road towards Grassington, turning left just a coupla hundred yards over the river bridge, towards Bewerley.  Go through the hamlet and take the second on the right, up the steep zigzagging lane.  A half-mile up the hill, watch out for the track onto Westcliff Farm.  Go along here and onto the footpath, then as you walk through the field, look uphill where the long wall runs into the trees, and you’ll see a rock in the walling near the top.  That’s it!

Archaeology & History

Just over the edge of the northern section of The Intakes at the western end of Guisecliff Wood, on a large rock in the walling near the very top of the field above Westcliff Farm, we find this little-known but very impressive cup-and-ring stone.

Close-up of some cups
Boughey & Vickerman’s drawing

Upon first sight the rock was aptly described by Danny Tierney as being like a Viking Hogback Stone with cup-markings along the sloping side of the long rock as it grew into the drystone walling.  He had a point!  It’s a curious carving (how many times do I say that!?), with the majority of the cup-marks and lines etched into the south-sloping face of the rock.  Other cups found further down the stone stretch along the eastern side towards ground level; and we have a small line of cups etched onto the normal horizontal face halfway along the stone.

The carving was rediscovered by Stuart Feather in the ‘Sixties and was all-but-forgotten until Boughey & Vickerman (2003) rejuvenated it in their catalogue.  They told it to be:

“Large rock of coarse grit lying with long uneven surface E to W, at ground level to S and E, but with high N and W faces.  Up to eighty cups but some may be due to pebbles or other natural causes; one cup has two half-rings which, like some grooves visible, suggest a now incomplete design.”

The fascinating ‘boxed’ cup-and-ring stone of Guisecliff Woods 629 can be found less than 200 yards east of here, in the trees, and is certainly worth seeking out!

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart & Hartley, C.E., “The Yorkshire Archaeological Register, 1964: Bewerley. W.R.”, in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal,  volume 41, 1965.

Links:

  1. More images of Guisecliff Wood carvings

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Guisecliff Woods CR-626

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Guisecliff Woods CR-626 54.068458, -1.755816 Guisecliff Woods CR-626

Heyshaw Moor (north), Dacre, North Yorkshire

Cairns:  OS Grid Reference – SE 16218 63253

Getting Here

Heyshaw cairn, looking NW

From the road between Pateley Bridge and Summerbridge, the B6165, turn down to Glasshouses, following the road through the village and round past the reservoir; then as the road bends, keep to your left and go the steep zigzaggy hill, stopping where a gravel parking space is on the right-hand side of the road, by the bend.  From here, cross the road and walk up the footpath to Yorke’s Folly.  Go over the wall and along the footpath by the wall (the Nidderdale Way) for a coupla hundred yards.  Then turn into the heather about 50 yards up from the walling.  Look around!

Archaeology & History

Heyshaw Moor cairn no.1

There’s no previous reference to this site.  It was found yesterday and is one of several such small heaps of stones (cairns) found along the flat ridge of moorland just south the hugely impressive of Guisecliff Crags on the northern edge of Heyshaw Moor.  The one illustrated here is probably the best of the several we found and may be indicative of a previously undiscovered cairnfield.  On a visit to the western side of the moors a few months ago we found another small cluster of similar cairns in very good condition, much like the one pictured here.  It would appear to be prehistoric in nature — although the existence of an old track that ran nearly 20 yards to the west may indicate its previous use as a marker cairn.  On the slopes below here (north) there are several examples of cup-and-ring stones, which tend to indicate the proximity of prehistoric graves.  This cairn could well be such marker.

We also found evidence of other early human remains on this ridge and further up the moor (walling, rectangular building, possible cairn circle), but there appears to be no literary information explaining its nature.  Further visits are needed here.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Heyshaw Moor cairns

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Heyshaw Moor cairns 54.064967, -1.753698 Heyshaw Moor cairns

Old Wife Ridge, Heyshaw Moor, Dacre, North Yorkshire

Sacred Hill:  OS Grid Reference – SE 159 626

Getting Here

Long worn stone on Old Wife Ridge

From the bottom of Pateley Bridge, just out of town take the left turn to Bewerley and go through the village; or from Glasshouses follow the road over the River Nidd and round.  Both ways take you to meet the steep and winding Nought Bank Road, which you should follow all the way to the top of the moorland hill.  You can just park up by the footpath taking you east.  Then cross the road and walk west on the dirt-track to Rowan Tree Crags.  100 yards along, the gentle sloping moor on your left is the Old Wife’s Ridge.

Archaeology & History

The academic history of this moorland is poor, save occasional notes about lead mining and quarrying (Jennings 1967).  Speight (1894) describes the finding of large pieces of lead-worked Roman inscriptions nearby that were found in January 1735 — one of which had the letters ‘BRIG’ cut into it, thought to be a referral to the land or deity, Brigantia.  Examples of prehistoric rock art occur at nearby Guisecliff Woods, due east, but there are no specific notices about the archaeology of this hillside.

Long overgrown stone at Old Wife Ridge

When we visited the place yesterday, much of the heather had been burned (the previous year) and we found two stones which looked suspiciously as if they had stood upright in the past, and may have had played some part in the naming and myth of the Old Wife on this part of the moors.  I can find no other records of any remains here.

Folklore

References to the Old Wife scatter our northern lands and invariably refer to an aspect of the heathen Earth Mother of our peasant ancestors, particularly in Her aspects of winter and early spring.  In Scotland and Ireland She was commonly known as the cailleach.  Sadly I can find no extant lore relating to Her mythic aspects in the landscape on these hills.  A field-name to the south, Nanny Black Hill, may have related to the Old Wife.

References:

  1. Jennings, Bernard (ed.), A History of Nidderdale, Advertiser Press: Huddersfield 1967.
  2. o’ Crualaoich, Gearoid, The Book of the Cailleach, Cork University Press 2003.
  3. Speight, Harry, Nidderdale, Elliot Stock: London 1894.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Old Wifes Ridge

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Old Wifes Ridge 54.059108, -1.758590 Old Wifes Ridge

Morphing Stone, Dacre, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 18559 61795

Also known as:

  1. Snoopy Stone
  2. Eastwoods Rough Carving
  3. IAG 638a (Boughey)

Getting Here

Mr Stroud's drawing of the stone
Mr Stroud’s drawing of the stone

Various ways to get here.  I s’ppose the easiest is from Dacre village.  If you go just past Sunny House, take the footpath on your right & walk along it, roughly straight across a number of fields, until you hit the footpath known as the Nidderdale Way.  The field you’re now in should be scattered with numerous rocks all over the place (if it aint, you’re in the wrong place), reaching down towards the trees.  Walk straight towards the trees for another 100 yards and the carving is somewhere hereabouts under your nose!  You’re very close! If, however, you decide to walk up the Nidderdale Way from Dacre Banks, the field you need is the one immediately to your right just before you reach the Monk Ing Road trackway.  The Tadpole Stone (or Eastwoods Rough II carving) is in the same field, close to the Nidderdale Way path — check that out aswell!

Archaeology & History

This is a large carving I found in April, 2006, in the company of rock-art student Richard Stroud (who sent us the pictures).  Twas in the midst of a fine day wandering about checking some of the ‘known’ sites in the area, when we happened across two or three previously unknown sites — and as the day wore on, just before we were gonna head for home, this little beauty poked the edge of its head out of the turf!  It had the pair of us in near rapture, with numerous “Wow’s” and excitable expletives coming from our mouths! We’re easily pleased us rock-art doods — but then it is a beauty when you first see it.

Morphing Stone carving (photo © Richard Stroud)
Morphing Stone carving (photo © Richard Stroud)
Morphing Stone, Dacre (photo © Richard Stroud)
Morphing Stone, Dacre (photo © Richard Stroud)

We came here several times in the weeks following its initial discovery, and it seemed that on each visit, we found an additional aspect to the carving.  It seemed to keep changing each time we came here — hence the name ‘Morphing Stone’!

The prime feature in the carving is the very large oval-shaped ‘ring’ with huge carved bowl in the middle and several outlying cups-markings around it.  Although it’s not plain to see in the photos, there’s a large tongue-shaped protuberance jutting out from one side of the main ringed feature.  You can also see a small cluster of cup-marks on the top-right of the rock: from here — though it isn’t easy to see in the photo — a long straight line links up with the edge of the major central ring.  Other lines run off on the top of the main feature and there are several other cup-markings on different parts of the stone.  It’s obviously best to see the carving “in the flesh”, so to speak, to get a good impression of what it actually looks like.  And, to those of you who might wanna venture up here, there are several others nearby.

A year or two after rediscovering the carving, rock art student Keith Boughey (2007) described the stone, saying:

“Measuring 2.61m from N-S and 1.88m from W-E at its greatest extent, the carved surface carries quite a complex design… At its N end is a large cup/basin with an approximate diameter of 25-30cm, surrounded by a ring that may or may not be complete: 2 cups have been incorporated into the ring on its N and W side. W of this ring a groove leads off S to a further possible cup. On the E side of the large central cup are 3 further cups of varying size. These motifs are all enclosed within a wide groove, which forms almost a dome pattern. Out of the ring, a further groove runs NW out of the design, bisecting the enclosing groove, curving round to form a handle shape before running back in towards the large central cup. The groove shows signs of continuing E towards the edge of the stone. Just outside the W edge of the enclosing dome is one well-defined cup. S of this, in a slight depression, are 2 further cups of differing size. A straight groove appears to run SW out of the enclosing dome shape on its E side towards further motifs on the stone’s S side. The groove may run into an area of cup marks, but there appears to be a break before it continues. When exposed, the carvings looked quite fresh and sharp, suggesting that they had remained covered for some considerable time – possible since antiquity or at least from a time in the prehistoric past when cup-and-ring-markings had begun to lose their significance and were no longer required to be visible in the landscape.”

To those of you who like the new computer images of cup-and-rings, the three below are samples from a number of such images done after the stone had been discovered.  Intriguingly, the long line running between the cluster of cups to the large cup-and-ring doesn’t show up too well; but the barely perceptible line running out, zigzag-fashion, from the large central cup-and-ring, shows up much clearer than when looking with the naked eye.

                          Morphing Stone Nikon Morphing4
References:

  1. Boughey, K., “Prehistoric Rock Art: Four New Discoveries in Nidderdale,” in Prehistoric Research Section Bulletin, no.44, Yorkshire Archaeological Society 2007.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Morphing Stone CR

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Morphing Stone CR 54.051785, -1.718019 Morphing Stone CR

Brimham Rocks Circle, Summerbridge, North Yorkshire

Stone Circle:  OS Grid Reference – SE 2056 6507

Archaeology & History

Druid's Circle on 1854 map
Druid’s Circle on 1854 map

A site that was illustrated by the early Ordnance Survey lads between the haunted Boggart Crag and Brimham Rocks to the south, I haven’t thoroughly explored this area so don’t know if anything at all remains of what was described.  It may or may not have been an early folly.  The earliest reference to this missing circle comes from Mr Hayman Rooke’s (1787) essay on the Brimham Rocks complex in Archaeologia journal.  Described in context with other prehistoric remains in the locale, Mr Rooke said,

“About a quarter of a mile further to the west (of Brimham Rocks) is a Druid circle, with a vallum of earth and stones, thirty feet diameter. It is exactly of the same construction as those on Stanton Moor, in the Peak of Derbyshire. There are likewise several small tumuli. Thirteen of them are ranged in a kind of circle, the largest not above eighteen feet in diameter. They are formed of earth and large stones. Two of these I opened; towards the bottom the effects of fire appeared on the stones; and ashes were scattered about, but there were no urns to be found.”

This description was echoed a few years later by Ely Hargrove (1809) and reiterated by Godfrey Higgins (1829) in his work on the Druids, but neither authors added anything new (strongly implying they never actually saw this ‘circle’).  The last description I’ve found of the site is in Mr Speight’s (1906) survey — which gives the reality of the site considerably more credence!  He told us:

“About 80 yards west of the Cannon Rock is a large tumulus, and about 300 yards still further is a Druid’s Circle, thirty feet in diameter, mentioned by Hargrove in 1809.”

But that’s it!  Nowt else!  It would seem from Hooke’s initial writing, that we are perhaps looking at a lost cairn circle in this locale, but until someone finds it we will never know for sure.

Intriguingly, there are a number of other prehistoric remains not far from this seemingly lost ‘circle’.  There’s a large standing stone not far away on Standing Stone Hill a half-mile south (kinda gives the game away really, dunnit!?) which I first saw as a kid; some cup-and-ring stones nearby; and the seemingly lost tumuli of Graffa Plain, southeast of Brimham Rocks, showing that prehistoric folk were up to the usual tricks nearby.  But the ‘circle’ is seemingly lost.  Is there anyone out there who knows anything more about yet another one of Yorkshire’s lost stone circles?  More information about the circle or the tombs would be very welcome!

References:

  1. Hargrove, Ely, The History of the Castle, Town and Forest of Knaresborough, Hargrove & Sons: Knaresborough 1809.
  2. Higgins, Godfrey, The Celtic Druids, R. Hunter: London 1829.
  3. Rooke, Hayman, “Some Account of the Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire,” in Archaeologia journal, volume 8, 1787.
  4. Speight, Harry, Upper Nidderdale, with the Forest of Knaresborough, Elliot Stock: London 1906.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Brimham Rocks circle

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Brimham Rocks circle 54.081143, -1.687235 Brimham Rocks circle