Douky Bottom Ring, Arncliffe, North Yorkshire

Enclosure:  OS Grid Reference – SD 95126 68887

Also Known as

  1. Dowkerbottom

Getting Here

Douky Bottom Ring
Douky Bottom Ring

Go up the B6160 road, heading for Kilnsey Crag.  A few hundred yards past here, take the road to Arncliffe and, several hundred yards along, keep yer eyes peeled for the (usually) decent craggy dry stream bed on your left (west). Follow this upstream till you hit the large cave, continuing uphill above the crags, following the steep walling upwards to the next set of crags.  Above these, another long straight line of walling continues in the same direction you’ve been walking. Follow this along until it meets up with another large line of walling, heading NE.  Walk along here till this wall changes direction NE, but here you need to walk across the grasses westwards, past the large cave for another 100 yards.  You’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

This is a simple but well-preserved circular monument, probably constructed in the Iron Age, just 100 yards past the incredible Douky Bottom cave (in which various prehistoric remains have been found).  No excavations appear to have been made here, yet the near-perfect ring is in very good condition indeed.  The monument consists of thousands of small stones – taken from the huge scree immediately behind the structure – whose uppermost visible mass overlays a much older and larger pile of stones, all of roughly the same size.

Douky Bottom ring, looking NE
Douky Bottom ring, looking NE

The ring is less than 10 yards across and gives the impression of it being a large hut circle—which it may or may not be.  Without an excavation we cannot know its function with any certainty.  Other, much larger prehistoric enclosures and settlements are close by, mainly to the northeast; and you have the truly bizarre rock piles on the ghostly horizon crags, whose histories are quiet indeed….  For any antiquarians amongst you who’d like a good day out, give this region a try!  It’s a truly intriguing arena with much much more hiding away than any of the archaeology records can tell you about.

Acknowledgements:  Many many thanks to James Elkington for guiding us to the sites in this region.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian