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 (448), North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10931 51276

Getting Here

CR-448 general design

From the back of Moor End Farm on the south-side of Langbar village, follow the Long Ridge footpath up onto the moor. Walk along the path until its starts dipping down again, onto the moor proper and where another footpath crosses and goes down into the small valley of the Dryas Dike stream: follow it down, crossing the stream and up the small slope till you’re on the next level of ground.  Stop here and walk right, off-path and up the gentle slope towards a small fenced-off piece of moor.  About 30 yards before the fence, check out the rocks under your noses.  You’re damn close!

Archaeology & History

If you’re gonna come up this region, this is the carving you’ll most wanna check out.  It’s the most ornamented of all the cup-and-ring stones at the top of Delves Beck.  Comprising at least five full cup-and-rings and a number of single cups, carved on a roughly square flat rock, it was first found by Stuart Feather in the mid-1960s.  It sits amidst a cluster of many other carvings on the same ridge.  This (for me at least) is something of a curiosity, inasmuch as we have a seeming lack of other prehistoric remains in attendance.

Carving 448 with paint damage
…and again, with paint damage

On the other side of the Wharfe valley above Ilkley, aswell as where we find cup-and-ring clusters on the Aire valley side at Baildon and East Morton, a preponderance of burials tend to cluster around clusters of rock art; but this doesn’t, initially, seem evident here.  A possible cairn is located on the northern side of this small ridge, and there is distinct evidence of another cairn down the slope on the other side of the Dryas Dike stream (by stone 440) just 100 yards away, but that’s it.  A more thorough examination of this region is required to see if other burial remains were in evidence hereby in the past.  I have photos of seemingly cairn-scatter material, and ancient walling in is clear evidence on the northern side of Dryas, but much more work needs doing.  Obviously much of this would require full surface excavation, which means we’re gonna need quite a bit of work and effort to see if the rock-art/burial patterns found elsewhere are echoed here.  It’s likely, it’s gotta be said.

…On a slightly more disturbing note: when me and Dave were up here last week, this carving and several others with more ornate designs on this ridge (carvings 446, 453 and others) had been painted over in some black substance.  You can see this clearly in the photos we took, above.  Whoever did it appears (word gets to me that a arty-dood called Paul did it) has done so to highlight the carvings so they stand out very clearly.  If you wanna highlight carvings for better images or photos, there are much better ways of bringing out the designs than the methods you employed there: chalk for one!

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart W., “Mid-Wharfedale Cup-and-Ring Markings: Nos 43 & 44, Middleton Moor,” in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin, 11:4, 1966.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

Middleton Moor CR-448

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Middleton Moor CR-448 53.957461, -1.834903 Middleton Moor CR-448

Middleton Moor Carving (449), North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10935 51309

Getting Here

Follow the same directions to find the Middleton Moor carvings of 441, 445, or others close by.  If you can get to carving 445, then you’re about 20 yards northeast away from this one!  A bittova upright stone, with another undecorated smooth flat rock about one-foot away.

Archaeology & History

Amidst the clump of other carvings on top of the ridge at the head of Delves Beck on the southern side of Dryas Dike, is this small standing-stone-like rock, which has a distinct single cup-marking right on the topmost part of the stone.  In certain lighting conditions it seems that there may have been a partial surrounding-ring on its top, or perhaps a smaller faded cup by its side.  It’s hard to tell — so let’s play safe and just stick with it being a single-cup stone for the time being!

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Middleton Moor CR-449

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Middleton Moor CR-449 53.957757, -1.834841 Middleton Moor CR-449

Middleton Moor Carving (445), North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10917 51299

Getting Here

Follow the same directions to find Middleton Moor’s 441 carving.  Then, go across the small stream a bit further down the slope and up up the slope until you’re on the level.  Once on this small rise in the land, look up the slight slope where approaching the the fenced area.  You’re close!

Archaeology & History

Middleton Moor carving 445

On the Middle Ridge between the streams of Delves Beck and Dryas Dike, this small rounded triangular-shaped carved stone has eight simple cup-markings eroded, but notable on its smooth surface.  Boughey & Vickerman (2003) suggest some may be gunshot marks, which has to be considered at several of the seeming ‘cup-markings’ on this moor. (particularly at Carving no.440 less than 100 yards away)  Archaeo-astronomers amongst you will note the Cassiopeia-like central design on this design — though this is probably coincidental (it might have tickled mi fancy when I was going thru my astroarchaeology phase many years back, but not anymore).

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Middleton Moor CR-445

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Middleton Moor CR-445 53.957668, -1.835116 Middleton Moor CR-445

Caspar Stone, Middleton Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10879 51405

Archaeology & History

Caspar Stone drawing © M.Short & R.Stroud
Caspar Stone unearthed © M.Short & R. Stroud

This carving was discovered very recently following an exploration of recognised sites on Middleton Moor by rock art student Mike Short on March 28, 2010.  Found amidst a cluster of other carved rocks, it was located after he noticed a small piece of stone poking out of the peat and — as happens to those folk obsessed by these ‘ere carvings — he decided to dig round the stone and cut the turf back to see if there was anything carved on the rock, as there are other cup-and-rings are close by.  Thankfully, after a bit of effort digging round the stone, Mike found the carving we see in the images here! (courtesy of Mike and Richard Stroud).   With a distinctly ‘facial’ appearance (hence the name), the following notes were written describing the new find:

“Small roughly oval dome-shaped medium grit rock approx. 49cm X 36cm, at and below soil level. Two cups, one of which is conical and deep (55mm deep and 65-75mm diameter) and of similar profile to one of the cups on No. 458; small shallow bowl-like depression with possible peck marks; curving groove on northern edge.”

When Mike finished with their drawings and measurements, the stone was covered back over and left in situ.  Although I aint seen the carving ‘in the flesh’ misself yet (we’re gonna have a look next week) it gives me the impression it had some association with burials.

References:

  1. Short, Mike & Stroud, Richard, “Report of New Carved Rock (‘Caspar’) on Middleton Moor,” April 2010.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Caspar Stone CR

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Caspar Stone CR 53.958621, -1.835691 Caspar Stone CR

Middleton Moor Carving (006), North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 12292 52144

Getting Here

Middleton Moor CR-006
Middleton Moor CR-006

Another off-the-beaten track site!  Follow the directions to reach the Middleton Moor 001 carving, then walk due east for about 500 yards until you reach the distinct footpath that’s the Roman Road.  Once here, zigzag along its edge on the western side, up and down hereabouts.  Keep looking around till you see the stone shown in Richard’s photo here!

Archaeology & History

First found in April 2005, this medium-sized flattish stone is just 10 yards west of the prehistoric trackway which cuts across the moors  — later used as a Roman road — on Middle Gill Bents.  A somewhat simplistic design, it was found by Richard Stroud when we were exploring some of the many other carvings up here, and looking for previously unrecorded ones hiding in the heather.  Carved onto this stone are eight, perhaps nine cup-markings, with grooved lines connecting at least two of them.  That’s it!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Middleton Moor CR-006

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Middleton Moor CR-006 53.965232, -1.814128 Middleton Moor CR-006

Middleton Moor Carving (441), North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10887 51381

 

Getting Here

From the back of Moor End Farm on the south-side of Langbar village, follow the Long Ridge footpath up onto the moor. Walk along the path until its starts dipping down again, onto the moor proper and where another footpath crosses and goes down into the small valley of the Dryas Dike stream, follow it – though only for about 75 yards, heading diagonally into the heather slowly towards the stream.  You’re getting close!

Archaeology & History

Crude drawing of CR441

Yet another small carving found amidst a decent cluster of cup-and-rings and other archaeological remains near the top of Dryas Dike, this stone was first described in the Boughey & Vickerman (2003) survey.  It’s located about 10 yards below Middleton Moor CR-440, above the stream of Dryas Dike.  It’s a simple design, comprising of a central groove with a cup at either end and several other cups either side of this central line.  (cheers to Richard Stroud for use of his photo).

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Middleton Moor CR-441

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Middleton Moor CR-441 53.958405, -1.835570 Middleton Moor CR-441

Black Hill Enclosure, Middleton Moor, North Yorkshire

Enclosure:  OS Grid Reference – SE 11757 51949

Getting Here

Just below Black Hill in the Middleton Moor Enclosure, little more than 10 yards east of the footpath on the east side of Loftshaw Gill, the slope drops down and into a slight ‘bowl’ in the landscape.  Here it is!

Archaeology & History

This is a previously undiscovered prehistoric settlement, enclosure, or something along those lines!  We came across it in April 2005 and is found amidst the mixed heather and bracken and has a scattering of small stones, as if in the wake of a dried stream from bygone times.  But whatever stream might once have been here, it’s long since fallen back to Earth — but at a point where a few rushes (Juncus conglomeratus) can be seen we find the aged remains of a large oval enclosure.

Similar in form to the other remains located up here by Eric Cowling (1946) in the 1930s and ’40s, when Richard Stroud and I first found this, structural remains of distinct lengths of walling were visible – but once the vegetation started growing back here again, it was almost impossible to discern.

Faint remains of enclosure walling

The main archaeological remains comprises of an oval-shaped structure, with what seemed liked a distinct Bronze Age note stamped on the walling — though it could be earlier, but without excavation it’s impossible to say. Most of the walling was just above ground-level, making it difficult to appreciate in the photo. It measures approximately 40 feet north-south and 33 feet east-west. The walling itself averages between 18-24 inches wide and was no more than one-foot tall at the highest.  Near the middle of the enclosure there were further sections of walling indicating different ‘rooms’ in the overall structure of things here.

Like I say, we unfortunately couldn’t get a decent image of this site cos the vegetation was already covering it up. So if you wanna see it, gerrup there soon after the heather burning’s been done here — otherwise it’s gonna be at least another year before you getta chance to see anything.  In Richard Stroud’s photo here, you’re looking at the bottom curve of the enclosure. You can just make out the line of walling near the centre of the picture, and two-thirds the way to the right you can see the enclosure wall curve closer to the bottom of the photo. (the site obviously requires a much better assessment from someone far more competent than me!)

References:

  1. Cowling, E.T., Rombald’s Way, William Walker: Otley 1946.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Black Hill enclosure

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Black Hill enclosure 53.963491, -1.822290 Black Hill enclosure

Middleton Moor Carving (008), North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10666 52789

Getting Here

Cup Marked Stone, Middleton Moor top

From the little hamlet of Langbar, head up to the steep footpath to Beamsley Beacon and from there along the footpath get yourself between the giant cairn known as The Old Pike and Round Hill.  About halfway between these two points the moor levels out (with brilliant views in all directions) and 200 yards southeast of the upright boundary stone, this well-defined carved rock is just a few yards north off the footpath.  It seems to be just over the boundary line of Middleton Moor and onto the Beamsley Moor side (not that you give a shit when you’re up here ambling about – but the cartographers like to get things right I s’ppose!).

Archaeology & History

…and from another angle
Drawing of the cup-marks

Near the very top of the moor this one — this is a small carving that I rediscovered in March 2005, much of it covered in peat and heather.  It’s very similar to some of the central designs found on the Baildon Moor cup-and-ring carvings, with four cup-markings (3 are deep) in a slight arc to the southern edge of this small, squared stone, very much like carvings 126 and 130 in the Boughey & Vickerman (2003) survey.  However, unlike the Baildon Moor examples, no burials seem to accompany this carving—although the surrounding heather may be hiding other archaeological remains.

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Middleton Moor CR-008

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Middleton Moor CR-008 53.971064, -1.838889 Middleton Moor CR-008

Middleton Moor Carving 435, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10771 51488

Getting Here

Follow the same directions to reach the Middleton Moor carvings, numbers 436 and 437, up along the footpath.  This is the easiest to find as it’s right beside the footpath – as Richard Stroud’s photograph clearly shows.

Archaeology & History

Drawing of CR-435
Middleton Moor CR-435

Near a cluster of other cup-and-ring marked rocks, this decent example can be found besides what may be a prehistoric trackway running roughly east-west over the Long Ridge to Foldshaw Ridge.  Amazingly, this stone was never previously catalogued until Boughey & Vickerman’s survey in 2003.  Just goes to show what y’ can find if y’ gerrof yer arses and look for yerselves! Comprising at least thirty cups and several lines, one faint cup-and-ring is discernible on the western edge of the stone.

If you walk westwards, back up to the hilltop from here (only a couple of hundred yards), a single upright stone which some might consider megalithic, stands right before your eyes! An excellent spot!

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Middleton Moor CR-435

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Middleton Moor CR-435 53.959369, -1.837334 Middleton Moor CR-435