Weary Hill Stone, Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10617 46586

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no. 75 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no. 244 (Boughey & Vickerman)
  3. I/1 carving (Davis)
  4. Silverwell Stone

Getting Here

Weary Hill Stone (photo by Dave Whittaker)

From Ilkley town centre take the road up to White Wells (ask any local if y’ can’t find it), but instead of heading up the track to the wells, keep on the road and, after just over 200 yards, turn left up the Keighley Road.  Half-a-mile up there’s a dirt-track on your right which leads to Silver Well Farm.  Walk along here for about 150 yards, keeping your eyes peeled for a large rock in the heather about 50 yards up onto the moor.  You’ll find it.

Archaeology & History

Located just 100 yards west of the old Roman road that effectively runs north-south through the middle of Rombalds Moor and which, when this carving was executed, was a prehistoric trackway, this is an impressive carving, all but unknown by many.  On my last visit to this stone—maybe 10 years ago or more—it was a cloudy day.  I know this from the fact that the design on the stone was difficult to see in its entirety.  But not anymore!  When the northern antiquarian Dave Whittaker came a-wandering this way a few years back,  the stone so overgrown in vegetation that the design was very difficult to appreciate and, like any healthy curious antiquarian, he wanted to know what the full carving would look like.  He enquired whether or not it was OK to uncover the stone from beneath its mass of heather to see the full image and, as far as we were concerned the idea was a good one.  And so, following in the footsteps of Beckensall, Currie, Chappell, me and a few others, he got stuck in!

Cup-and-rings from above (photo by Dave Whittaker)
Looking across the stone (photo by Dave Whittaker)

As you can see in Dave’s fine photos, the petroglyph is indeed a fine one.  It comprises mainly of four cup-and-rings, two of which are incomplete  The rings, as you can see, are very faint, whilst the cups, both in the rings and those outside of them, are notably deep; perhaps indicating that they were carved into many times over a long period.

One of the great petroglyphic pioneers, J.Romilly Allen (1882) seems to have been the earliest to record this carving.  Allen’s early sketch (below) was obviously drawn on a shady day, as it misses several of of the rings that are clear to see when the the daylight is just right.  It’s an easy mistake to make.  He wrote:

J.R. Allen’s 1882 sketch
Hedge’s 1986 sketch

“One mile south-west of Ilkley is a road leading over the top of the Moor…very appropriately as Weary Hill.  To the west of the road, and between it and the boundary-wall of Silver Well Farm, is a small boulder of gritstone with cup-markings on it.  It lies at a level of 900 ft. above the sea, and it measures 8ft by 5ft.  On its upper surface, which is nearly level, are carved ten cups, varying in diameter from 2 to 3 ins., one of them being surrounded by a single ring.”

The pseudonymous “A. Reader” (1891) also included the stone in his international overview of prehistoric carvings, but merely copied the notes of his predecessors.  Nearly a hundred years later when archaeologist John Hedges (1986) did his survey of these moors, he described this carving simply as:

“Medium seized rock…in grass, heather and crowberry with c.ten cups, four with rings, two with grooves from rings, three depressions and series of probably natural lines running down to bottom edge.”

And as with the pseudonymous A. Reader (1891), Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) also just copied Hedges’ earlier description.

Seeking numeracy in Alan Davis 1988 sketch
And from another angle (photo by Dave Whittaker)

The greatest analysis of this carving to date is by physicist and mathematician Alan Davis.  He set out in 1983 to explore the possibility of there being a universal measurement used in neolithic times that was coded into our cup-and-rings—a theory first espoused by the great archaeo-astronomer Alexander Thom. (1968)  He selected carvings from Rombalds Moor and Northumberland, including this one at Weary Hill (calling it the I/1 carving) to see if a ‘megalithic inch’ (MI) that was propounded by Thom had any foundation in fact.  As a mathematician he was ideally qualified to examine this proposition.  His 1983 paper found there to be “substantial support” for this prehistoric megalithic inch.  However, in a subsequent 30-page analysis of the same carvings Davis (1988) found that some criteria in his initial investigation needed re-examining.  In his updated report he told that “many of these deficiencies have now been remedied.”

His initial 1983 report concluded the Weary Hill carving possessed a deliberate mathematical code in accordance with Thom’s MI.  However in the subsequent 1988 report, Davis found that the measurements were based on 5MI and 3 MI, but only in the cup-and-rings and not the single cups.  Despite this, there remained an overall scepticism in terms of any deliberate universal use of the MI.  My own take on this is a simple one: there was no deliberate use of any MI at carvings.  Where we do find precise MIs, this is due simply to the average size of human hands, meaning that some obvious figurative correspondences will occur upon investigation.  The more you think about it, the more obvious it becomes.

Anyhow, all this intriguing geometry aside: to those of you who take the time to check this out, have a bimble in the heather barely 100 yards west and you’ll find a few other carvings sleeping quietly, whose site profiles I’ve yet to do…

References:

  1. Allen, J. Romilly, “Notice of Sculptured Rocks near Ilkley,” in Journal of the British Archaeological Association, volume 38, 1882.
  2. Anonymous, Walks Around Cup and Ring Stones, ITIC: Bradford n.d. (1995)
  3. Boughey, K.J.S. & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  4. Collyer, Robert & Turner, J. Horsfall, Ilkley, Ancient and Modern, William Walker: Otley 1885.
  5. Davis, Alan, ‘The Metrology of Cup and Ring Carvings near Ilkley in Yorkshire,’ in Science and Archaeology, 25, 1983.
  6. Davies, Alan, ‘The Metrology of Cup and Ring Carvings,’ in Ruggles, C., Records in Stone, Cambridge 1988.
  7. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks of Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  8. Reader, A., Archaic Rock Inscriptions, privately printed: London 1891.
  9. Thom, Alexander, “The Metrology and Geometry of Cup and Ring Marks,” in Systematics, volume 6, 1968.
  10. Turner, J. Horsfall, Historical Notices of Shipley, Saltaire, Idle, Windhill, Wrose, Baildon, Hawksworth, Eccleshill, Calverley, Rawdon and Horsforth, Shipley Express: Idle 1901.

Links:

  1. Weary Hill Stone on The Megalithic Portal

Acknowledgments:  Huge thanks to Dave Whittaker for his work at this stone, plus allowing us use of his photos in this site profile.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.915315, -1.839855 Weary Hill Stone

Cowpasture Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire

Cist (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 1192 4759

Archaeology & History

Urn found below Cowpasture Rd in 1874

In a lecture given by Frank Hall at the Ilkley Library in February, 1910, he described a number of prehistoric remains found in the area—including the remnants of a “cinerary urn, containing calcined human remains” and more, as illustrated in the old photo here.  He contextualized the findings as being typical of the remains found “under a large heap of earth and stones which we now call a ‘barrow’, ‘cairn’ or ‘tumulus'” and believed that one must have existed here in bygone times.  The urn, he told us,

“was found within a few yards of these premises, for it was dug up when the excavations were being carried out for the erection of Messrs Robinson and Sons’ buildings on the opposite side of Cowpasture Road, in March 1874.”

Although we list this site as a cist, we don’t know for sure; but due to the lack of descriptive and historical data about a mound of any form in this area, it is most likely to have been a cist burial and not a tumulus or barrow which Mr Hall inferred.  Its location near the valley bottom is unusual when we consider the huge number of cairns on the moors above here; but a cist was found in a similar low-lying geographical position on the south side of the moors near Bingley, 5.8 miles due south, when construction of local sewage works were being done.

References:

  1. Hall, Frank, The Contents of Ilkley Museum, William Walker: Otley 1910.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.924310, -1.819974 Cowpasture cist

Piper’s Crag Stone, Addingham Moorside, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 08497 47097

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.44 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.212 (Boughey & Vickerman)
  3. Piper’s Stone

Getting Here

Piper Stone (photo by James Elkington)

Follow the directions to reach our superb Swastika Stone from Ilkley, visible due to the iron railing that surround and protect the carving on the cliff edge.  From here, keep walking west along the Millenium Way footpath, over the stile of the first wall, then the second wall—six in all—for ⅔-mile (1km), where you’ll see another small crag of rocks on your right, just yards from the footpath.  You’re damn close!

Archaeology & History

When the great J. Romilly Allen (1882) visited the Ilkley petroglyphs in 1878, the Piper Stone was one that he wandered over to see—and he had this to say of it:

“At the edge of Piper’s Crag is a horizontal rock-surface, and on a portion of it, measuring 5ft by 7ft, are carved a series of fifteen cups varying in diameter from 2 to 3 ins.  Of these, one is surrounded by a single ring, four by a double ring, and one by a triple ring.”

Hedges 1986 sketch
Cowling’s 1940 sketch

This type of description, whilst accurate on the whole, rarely does justice to the carving.  It was echoed more than 100 years later in John Hedges’ (1986) survey, when he described the large rock jutting out to possess merely, “a complicated design of cups, rings and grooves.”  When Boughey & Vickerman (2003) did their follow-up survey, they added nothing more.

In an attempt to give some sort of meaning to the carving (and many others), the late great Eric Cowling (1940; 1946) placed it within Henri Breuil’s (1934) classification system, which assigns all carvings different degrees of complexity and form, from Classes 1-4.  The Piper Stone entered Breuil’s Class 3A, being one “with deeply cut and smoothed down grooves.” Whilst this may sound good on the surface, in truth such classifications are utterly meaningless outside of the tables and graphs of statisticians and the boring.  They give the appearance of quantitative research, but they have as much bearing on the nature of the carvings as a energy dowser healing the place with crystals.

Piper Stone (photo by Josh Millgate)

In the flesh, in the real world—so to speak—from the Piper Stone we are looking, not just at the carving, but its place in the landscape: an ingredient that more and more emerging archaeologists are recognizing has a synergistic relationship with some petroglyphs.  And here we have an impressive landscape that reaches out ahead of us for many miles.  We look primarily to the north: the Land of the Dead in many traditional northern cultures.  But our panorama here is 180º, with east and west horizons having the potential for measuring equinoctial periods in the cycle of the year.  But in truth this is sheer speculation.

It’s a worthwhile carving to see, both for its views and its excess of non-linearity.  In its form, Rorscharch impressions of early humans emerge; the usual solar and lunar symbols can be seen; star systems seem apparent; maps or settlement ground-plans could be there.  We know that somewhere within it is the animistic ‘spirit’ of the rock itself, but the forms it exalts are, once again, all but lost on us modern folk…

References:

  1. Allen, J. Romilly, “Notice of Sculptured Rocks near Ilkley,” in Journal of the British Archaeological Association, volume 38, 1882.
  2. Allen, J. Romilly, “Cup and Ring Sculptures on Ilkley Moor,” in The Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist, volume 2, 1896.
  3. Anonymous, Walks around Cup and Ring Stones, TIC: Ilkley n.d. (c.1990).
  4. Baildon, W. Paley, “Cup and Ring Carvings: Some Remarks on their Classification and a New Suggestion as to their Origin and Meaning,” in Archaeologia, volume 61, 1909.
  5. Bennett, Paul, “Cup-and-Ring Art”, in Towards 2012, volume 4, 1998.
  6. Bennett, Paul, The Old Stones of Elmet, Capall Bann: Milverton 2001.
  7. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
  8. Breuil, Henri, “Presidential Address for 1934,” in Proceedings Prehistoric Society East Anglia, 7:3, 1934.
  9. Collyer, Robert & Turner, J.H., Ilkley: Ancient and Modern, William Walker: Otley 1885.
  10. Cowling, E.T., ‘A Classification of West Yorkshire Cup and Ring Stones,’ in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 1940.
  11. Cowling, E.T., Rombald’s Way: A Prehistory of Mid-Wharfedale, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  12. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

Acknowledgements:  Huge thanks to Josh Millgate and James Elkington for use of their photos in this site profile.  Cheers guys. 🙂

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.919947, -1.872107 Piper Stone

East Wall Stone, Burley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13924 45493

Getting Here

East wall stone on the right

Follow the directions to reach the impressive Woofa Bank prehistoric enclosure.  You need to find the walling that constitutes the enclosure itself and walk along to its eastern side where you’ll reach an ‘opening’, as if it may once have been an entrance at that side of the enclosure.  A reasonably large sloping rock is on one side of this ‘entrance’.  You can’t really miss it!

Archaeology & History

Unlike many of the other petroglyphs found within the Woofa Bank enclosure, the design on this one is faint — very faint indeed (much like the recently uncovered triple-ring petroglyph by the Thimble Stones).  Comprising simply of a small cluster of cup-marks, you’ll struggle to see this one — unlike its compatriot on the western wall of the enclosure.

Looking down on the rock
Some very faint cupmarks

It consists of a single cup-mark on the northern edge of the stone, whilst on the sloping southern part of the rock are a number of very faint cups, eroded by them there millenia of Nature’s wind and weathering.  One or two of the cups are just visible in good lighting, but what are almost certainly a few more can be seen when the rock is wet and in low daylight hours.  It’s a design that’s probably only of interest to the hardcore petroglyph fanatics, but without doubt this is yet another carving within this obviously important prehistoric enclosure.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.905410, -1.789560 East Wall Stone

Halo Stone (318), Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13223 46505

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.154 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.318 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Looking straight down at it

Looking straight down at it

From Ilkley train station, head up Cow Pasture Road and get to the Cow & Calf Hotel (if needs be, ask a local).  From its car-park, cross the road and go along the straight-ish footpath onto the moor.  Less than 200 yards on, you’ll hit a main track (and a faint cup-marked stone).  OK – walk down this track (left) for 30-40 yards, then walk left again into the heather for about 10 yards.  You’re looking for a small rounded stone and you’re damn close!

Archaeology & History

...and from another angle

…and from another angle

Just over 40 yards east of the very basic Brown Law cup-marked stone, we find this slightly more exotic petroglyph, keeping low in the undergrowth.  Difficult to see unless the daylight is just right, preferably as the sun is rising or setting (as with many neolithic carvings), on this small slightly rounded stone we see a central cup-mark surrounded by a double-ring (unfinished, perhaps on its northern edge)—although an outer cup seems to touch the edge of this second ring.  As the faint images here show, there are other cups and shallow lines also etched onto the stone, but these are gradually fading as the years go by.  It was originally found close to a small cairn that has seemingly been destroyed in recent years.

CR318drThe carving can be troublesome to find when the heather and bracken gets growing, so it’s best explored in the Winter and early Spring—unless of course you want me to show you it, along with the hundreds of others on these moors!  If so, gimme a shout. 😉

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
  2. Cowling, E.T., Rombald’s Way: A Prehistory of Mid-Wharfedale, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  3. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Halo Stone CR

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Halo Stone CR 53.914527, -1.800179 Halo Stone CR

Panorama Woods (228), Ilkley, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 11468 47288

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.100 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.228 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Panorama Stone 228, with cups highlighted (after James Elkington)

Come out of Ilkley/bus train station and turn right for less than 50 yards, turning left up towards White Wells.  Go up here for less than 100 yards, taking your first right and walk 300 yards up Queens Road until you reach the St. Margaret’s church on the left-hand side.  On the other side of the road, as well as a bench to sit on, surrounded by trees is a small enclosed bit with spiky railings with Panorama Stones 227, 228 and 229 all therein: the one in the centre being the one we’re dealing with here.

Archaeology & History

Originally located ¾-miles (1.2km) WSW of its present position in Panorama Woods (at roughly SE 10272 46995), along with its petroglyphic compatriots in this cage, the carving was moved here in 1890 when a Dr. Little—medical officer at Ben Rhydding Hydro—bought the stones for £10 from the owner of the land at Panorama Rocks, as the area in which the stones lived was due to be vandalized and destroyed. Thankfully the said Dr Little was thoughtful and as a result of his payment he had some of the stones saved and moved into their present position.  However, this carving is but a fragment of its former self.

John Hedges 1986 sketch
Close-up of cups (James Elkington)

It was originally to be seen within a large prehistoric enclosure—which was completely destroyed when rich houses were built hereby, without any evaluation of the site ever being made.  But particularly impressive is the fact that this now enclosed sedated stone carving was originally the large rocky base for a small rocking stone, which also had cup-markings on it and a faint cup-and-ring.  This is very unusual indeed – and perhaps unique in Britain?  Thankfully, several Victorian antiquarians visited and made notes and a sketch of the site before it was uprooted and a large section of it destroyed.  In J. Romilly Allen’s article (1879) he told that, just a couple of yards from the more famous and ornate Panorama Stone (229), a

“second stone is of irregular shape, measuring 15ft by 12ft, and supporting a smaller stone of triangular shape 6ft long by 4ft broad.  Both upper and under stone are covered with cups and rings, but the sculptures have suffered much from exposure.  The superimposed rock has eleven cups, two of which are surrounded by rings.  The under stone has 42 cups, nine of which have rings.  Amongst these are two unusually fine examples, one has an oval cup 5in by 4in, surrounded by two rings, the diameter of the outer ring being 1ft 3in.  Another has a circular cup 3in diameter, and five concentric rings, the outer ring being 1ft 5in across.”

J.T Dales 1878 sketch, with CR227 on top of it
Original location of stone

In a sketch of the site by J. Thornton Dale done about the same time as Allen’s visit, and reproduced here (apologies for the poor quality), the “five concentric rings” that Mr Allen mentioned are not shown, but clearly a spiral design had been seen by Mr Dale’s eyes.  Fascinating…. The large mass of carvings immediately left of the spiral is in fact the smaller upper stone known by modern archaeologists as carving 227.

Today, all we can see of this petroglyph are two cup-and-rings, and one faint double-cup-and-ring; several incomplete rings or arcs, and at least another 30 single cup-marks, some of which have short limes running to or from them.  The rest of original stone base with its other multiple rings or spiral design were obviously destroyed.

As with many of the Ilkley carvings, Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) description barely does the stone justice.  They described it simply:

“Large rock, now set in concrete base, the surface rapidly deteriorating.  Over forty cups, three with single rings, one showing traces of a second, grooves.”

The mightily impressive Panorama 229 carving sits next to this one and is truly worth checking out!

References:

  1. Allen, J. Romilly, “The Prehistoric Rock Sculptures of Ilkley,” in Journal of British Archaeological Association, volume 35, 1879.
  2. Bennett, Paul, The Panorama Stones, Ilkley, TNA: Yorkshire 2012.
  3. Bennett, Paul, Aboriginal Rock Carvings of Ilkley and District, forthcoming.
  4. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  5. Cowling, Eric T., Rombald’s Way, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  6. Downer, A.C., “Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Association,” in Leeds Mercury, August 28, 1884.
  7. Hadingham, Evan, Ancient Carvings in Britain, Souvenir Press: London 1974.
  8. Hedges, John, The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  9. Heywood, Nathan, “The Cup and Ring Stones of the Panorama Rocks”, in Transactions Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society, Manchester 1889.
  10. Speight, Harry, Upper Wharfedale, Elliott Stock: London 1900.

Acknowledgements With huge thanks to both Dr Stefan Maeder for help in cleaning up the stones; and to James Elkington for taking the photos and allowing ’em for use them in this site profile.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.921606, -1.826868 Panorama Woods CR-228

Gatepost Stone, Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 09497 46961

Getting Here

Cup-and-rings on gatepost (photo credit, Dave Whittaker)

From Ilkley, follow the same directions as if you’re going up to the superb Swastika Stone.  Keep walking on the footpath, west, for 65 yards (59m), then walk into the heather on your left.  Barely 5 yards in, you’ll see this fallen standing stone or gatepost.

Archaeology & History

First described in one of Stuart Feather’s (1964) old rambles, I first saw this stone in my late-teens and was as puzzled by it then as I am today.  Upon an obviously worked stone that may once have stood upright (or was intended to do), two faint and incomplete cup-and-rings were carved – but when exactly?  If this stone was cut from a larger rock into its present shape, were the petroglyphs already on it, or were they done when the ‘gatepost’ was created?

It was first described in one of Stuart Feather’s (1964) rambles up here and later included in Hedges’ (1986) survey, where he told it to be a, “recumbent gatepost with one cup with almost complete ring and one cup with vestigial ring.”  Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey added little more.  And when a group calling itself Carved Stones Investigation got itself about £250,000 to “investigate” the Ilkley petroglyphs, I was hoping that they could have at least turned this stone over to see if other carvings were on the stone – but they just revisited all those found by others, made a new list, and took the money to be honest (no website and no book – as they should’ve done).  Thankfully, local folk are having a look at this and others and doing the work they should have.  Check it out when you’re next up at the Swastika.

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, Megalithic Ramblings between Ilkley and Baildon, unpublished: Shipley 1982.
  2. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
  3. Feather, Stuart, “Mid-Wharfedale Cup-and-Ring Markings: no.26, 27, 28 – Black Pots, High Moor, Silsden, near Keighley,” in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin, 9:10, 1964.
  4. Hedges, John, The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

AcknowledgementsHuge thanks to Dave Whittaker for the photo.  Good luck with the plans fellas.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian 

Gatepost Stone CR

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Gatepost Stone CR 53.918707, -1.856889 Gatepost Stone CR

Cold Stone, Burley Moor, West Yorkshire

Standing Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 14236 45433

Getting Here

Cold Stone, looking NW
Cold Stone, looking NW

From Burley-in-Wharfedale train station, take the road uphill to the moors, turning right at the top, until you hit the bend where the stream and rocky valley of Coldstone Beck appears. Walk up the right-hand (west) side of the beck until the moorland levels out.  Walk along the footpath above Stead Crag for a coupla hundred yards, keeping your eyes peeled for the largest upright stone in the heather about 50 yards into the moors. The other way is to get to Woofa Bank Enclosure and keep walking east through the heather for a coupla hundred yards till you see the tallest upright stone in the heather.

Archaeology & History

Apart from my own short entry about this site in The Old Stones of Elmet, we have no archaeological account of this standing stone, less than four feet tall and nearly as wide at its maximum, living in a landscape renowned for its excess of neolithic and Bronze Age remains.  For those of us who love our megaliths it’s nothing special — but at the same time it’s worth looking at, if only because of the other mass of prehistoric remains close by.  It received its name from the adjacent Coldstone Beck a short distance to the east, whose etymology isn’t clear.

Cold Stone, looking east
Cold Stone, looking east
Gazing into a hazy SW
Gazing into a hazy SW

Although we know that many of the sites on this ridge are prehistoric in origin (incredibly some of it still aint registered by those who get paid to do such things), we also need to take into consideration that this site may have been effected by the early industrialists who also made their mark on this section of the moor: they have scarred some cup-and-rings along here, destroyed other remains and left incisions on some rocks which could easily be mistaken as ancient.  There is also the possibility that this upright and its adjacent stones were once part of a cairn.   If evidence comes to light that the Cold Stone is more recent, we will of course amend this site entry.

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, The Old Stones of Elmet, Capall Bann: Chieveley 2001.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Cold Stone

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Cold Stone 53.904866, -1.784806 Cold Stone

Panorama Woods (230), Ilkley, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10377 47027

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.63 (Hedges)
Panorama Woods stone 230
Panorama Woods stone 230

Getting Here

From Ilkley, take the directions up to the Panorama Woods 232 carving.  From here you can step from this rock over the stride onto the cup-marked carving 231b, and then go onto the next adjoining rock surface a little lower down. From here, you’ll see another mossy rock surface in front of you by a yard or two. That’s the one!

Archaeology & History

The three cup-markings
The three cup-markings

Here’s another simple cup-marked stone, probably only for the purists amongst you—although in visiting here please take into account the primary carving’s association with other more prominent designs that once existed only a few yards to the west where the houses now stand.  There is also the cluster of other carvings right next to this stone.  A prehistoric settlement was also in evidence adjacent to this carving which was destroyed in the latter half of the 19th century.

Close-up of the cups
Close-up of the cups
John Hedges 1986 drawing
John Hedges 1986 drawing

Described simply in John Hedge’s (1986) fine survey as a small “piece of rock with three clear cups and one depression.”  Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey added nothing more and merely copied the same words.  For some reason or other (mebbe cos I’m simple!) I really like this otherwise innocuous design and its close simplistic relatives. It’s probably due to the trees amidst which the stones are found and the bright mosses on the rocks, giving the site a slightly extra sense of more living genius loci than others on the top of these moors, where the winds move the subtle spirits with greater ease.

19th century addition
19th century addition

If you step down and look at the vertical side of this stone, you’ll notice a more modern stylistic carving etched onto the surface.  Not as deep as the prehistoric cups on the top, it seems probable that a local artist by the name of Ambrose Collins carved this on here (and other similar designs on other rocks nearby) in the late 19th century.

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, The Panorama Stones, Ilkley, TNA: Yorkshire 2012.
  2. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
  3. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.919283, -1.843489 Panorama Woods CR-230

Panorama Woods (231b), Ilkley, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10378 47027

The rock in question
The rock in question

Getting Here

Follow the directions to reach Panorama Woods carving 232.  Barely a yard or two southwest across the small gap where the kids have their little den or hideout, this long curvaceous rock is the fella in question.

Archaeology & History

Cup-markings on the rock
Cup-markings on the rock

Curiously not included in the ‘official’ records, this large piece of rock, living right in between the Panorama Woods carvings 231 and 232, has at least two, possibly three faint cup-marks etched in the top northeastern portion of the rock.  Of the same style and probably period as the basic designs on stones 230 and 231, this is one in a cluster of petroglyphs that used to live at the edge of a prehistoric enclosure, destroyed at the end of the 19th century.

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, Of Cups and Rings and Things, unpublished: Shipley 1981.
  2. Bennett, Paul, The Panorama Stones, Ilkley, TNA: Yorkshire 2012.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.919283, -1.843473 Panorama Woods CR-231b