Green Crag Slack (374), Burley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13891 45757

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.199 (Hedges)

Getting Here

The faint cup-marked stone no.374

From Ilkley, take the same directions to reach the Haystack Rock; then walk east along the edge of the moor, past the Pancake Stone and keep along the footpath for more than 800 yards till you see the large cairn above-right of the footpath by about 20 yards, a short distance before you’d hit the Rushy Beck.  Walk to the cairn, and past it onto the moor for another 30-40 yards, checking the rocks on the ground thereby. You’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

Scruffy sketch I did of the stone, c.1982

Described in John Hedge’s (1986) survey as a “long, low, smooth grit rock, partly covered with heather. Seven clear cups”, we first found this carving when we were out bimbling on one of our hundreds of ventures on these moors as kids—on this occasion, as I recall, seeking out a cup-and-ring stone that Stuart Feather discovered and mentioned in an early Yorkshire Archaeology Journal.  Less than a yard away from the one which Mr Feather described (the overgrown cup-and-ring stone no.375) was this curvaceous female rock, with seven simple cup-markings, mostly on its northeastern side.

When the heather is low in this area, you can clearly make out extensive remains of prehistoric walling 11 yards east of the cup-marked stone, running north-south.  This eventually meets up with another line of walling that runs east-west and bends back around on the western sides of the carving about 20 yards away, seemingly encircling it.  This enclosure will be described in greater detail at a later date.

References:

  1. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  2. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Green Crag Slack CR-374

loading map - please wait...

Green Crag Slack CR-374 53.907787, -1.790043 Green Crag Slack CR-374

Chair Stone, Burley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 14395 45222

Getting Here

Cupmarked stone west of Coldstone Beck
Cupmarked stone west of Coldstone Beck

Fom Burley train station, take the road uphill onto the moor edge, turning right for a coupla hundred yards where the road runs up the side of the Coldstone Beck. Walk up the stream until you hit the footpath that takes you onto the moor proper, on the righthand (west) side.  Once on the level, note scatter rocks on the near horizon above you and the faded track that runs up towards them. Walk up here, keeping your eyes peeled for the small chair-shaped rock immediately left of the pathway. You can’t really miss it.

Archaeology & History

One of an increasing number of carvings that I’m finding have curiously not been included in the general rock art surveys of the region (Boughey & Vickerman, 2003; Hedges 1986).  We first found this—Jon Tilleard and I—when we were foraging for such carvings in the 1970s and early ’80s and the scruffy drawing here is taken from one of my early notebooks (1981) that explored the archaeological remains on these moors.

Scruffy drawing of the stone, c.1982
Close-up of cup-marks

The name of the stone comes from the slightly chair-like shape of the rock on which the blatantly obvious cup-markings can be seen.  There are at least six of them, with a possible seventh near the top of the rock.  Some curious eroded markings can still be to the left-side of the main cups, but I’m unsure as to their nature and they may be just geophysical. Above and around this rock are a number of medieval pit workings, quarrying and scatterings of other rocks, none of which have been found to possess cup-and-rings.

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, Of Cups and Rings and Things, unpublished: Shipley 1981.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Chair Stone CR

loading map - please wait...

Chair Stone CR 53.902965, -1.782396 Chair Stone CR

Woofa Bank (352), Burley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13611 45616

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.183 (Hedges)

Getting Here

Deep cups on this Woofa Bank carving

Follow the same directions as if you’re gonna visit the Idol Stone carving.  From here, keep walking uphill until your reach the rocky crags on the slope above.  Go left (southeast) along the small footpath that runs along the top of this ridge for 350 yards (320m) and, where the path begins to very gradually slope back downhill a little, go sharp left, downhill for 50 yards, where a couple of large rocks stand out. Before one of these, low down in the heather, you’ll find this curious cup-and-ring stone.

Archaeology & History

This is a lovely cup-and-ring stone, seemingly recorded for the first time by fellow rock-art student Stuart Feather (Radford 1968) in one of his numerous ramblings over these moors.  It’s a difficult habit to break once the bug bites!  The rock itself is unusual, possessed of undulating geophysical waves or ripples across its surface, similar to a cluster of others a couple of miles west near the very top of Rombald’s Moor.  The curvaceous feature alone would have given this stone a spirit-nature of its own, different from the others in this area — though we may never know what that might have been.

Primary design (after Hedges)

The cups carved onto this rock are cut much deeper than most other prehistoric carvings along this ridge and, for some reason or other, give an immediate impression of having been painted and coloured in lichens or other natural dyes, to encourage or awaken the mythic history within and around the stone.  It’s a formula that occurs worldwide and needs serious consideration, not just here, but at many other outcrop carvings in Wharfedale and much further afield.

The carving was described in John Hedges’ (1986) fine survey as a,

“Fairly small flat rock, level with the ground, sloping slightly in heather and crowberry, its surface layered in waves which appear to have been incorporated in the design which covers the rock.  About 25 cups, some very deep and some showing pick marks, three are enclosed in rings, one of which has three cups in its circumference and a groove leading from it to edge of rock.”

Many other carvings scatter the moorland plain of Woofa Bank — some recorded, others not — in a region rich in Bronze Age and probably earlier cairns. We’ll add all their profiles here as time floats by…

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, Of Cups and Rings and Things, unpublished: Shipley 1981.
  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.
  4. Radley, J. (ed.), “Yorkshire Archaeological Register, 1968,” in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, volume 42: part 166, 1968.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.906527, -1.794311 Woofa Bank CR-352

Buried Stone, Burley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1380 4521

Archaeology & History

Buried Stone carving

One of this regions many simple cup-marked stones, this example is another that is not in the archaeological records as it was rediscovered on March 1, 2012, by one-time rock art student, Michala Potts of Keighley.  Found in association with one of the many prehistoric cairns in the landscape, it is a small flat rock, that was mainly covered over in dead bracken remains.  There are two very distinct archetypal cup-marks etched on the westernmost half of the stone, with a possible faint third in-between the two.  The larger of the two cups measures 2 inches across and is a half-inch deep; the other cup being 1½ inch across and roughly the same depth. Several other cup-and-ring stones can be found close by.

Buried Stone, when dry

The curious-looking inverted ‘F’ beneath the two cups is somewhat of a dilemma, as part of it appears to have been carved and has the hallmark of a typical boundary marker. However, the top line is almost certainly a natural feature on the rock, but the vertical and second horizontal line may have been cut into the rock at a later date.  There are remains of some medieval workings just 10 yards away from this stone, which may account for the enhanced lines; but we could do with a decent geologist to have a look and tell us one way or the other!

…to be continued…

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Buried Stone CR

loading map - please wait...

Buried Stone CR 53.902873, -1.791453 Buried Stone CR

Dyke Stone, Burley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference –  SE 1395 4517

Getting Here

Sketch of the main design

Once you’re on Ilkley moorland itself, head over to the Little Skirtful of Stones giant cairn.  From here, walk due east for 115 yards where you’ll come across an overgrown dried-up (usually) dyke cut into the heath, which runs roughly north-south.  Walk over the dyke onto its eastern side and just a few yards in front of you, in a slight dip, you’ll found a female oval-shaped boulder amidst the heather.

Archaeology & History

Rediscovered on Tuesday March 6, 2012, this medium-sized rounded (female) rock has somehow evaded all previous archaeological evaluations.  It is one of at least five previously unrecorded cup-marked stones found close to each other on the eastern section of Rombald’s Moor near the Little Skirtful of Stones.  The rock measures roughly 2 yards by 1½ yards and possesses at least 15 cup-marks that cover most of its surface.  Each cup-mark averages about 2 inches across and are less than ½-inch deep.  There is a natural ‘bowl’ in the southern section of the rock with a typical cup-mark in it and a smaller one in close association.

Dyke Stone cupmarks
and from another angle

The other cup-markings found close by, appear to be associated with the prehistoric cairns but this stone — the largest of the group — lacks any immediate relationship with such monuments.  Further ground explorations are required at other potential spots close by; plus we could do with getting back here when the sunlight’s better, so we can get some clearer photos!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Dyke Stone CR

loading map - please wait...

Dyke Stone CR 53.902510, -1.789171 Dyke Stone CR

Lanshaw Carving (335), Burley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13440 45415

Getting Here

Carving 335, from above

From the Idol Stone carving, keep walking along the footpath that takes you up the hill and further onto the moor. Keep walking for another few hundred yards until you reach the old pits at Lanshaw Delves. Walk due east through the heather for 250 yards or so, until you hit the flat-topped cup-and-ring marked Lanshaw Stone. Walk 50 yards NNE from here, and keep diligent. You’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

…and from another angle

This is another carving which is troublesome to locate when the heather’s fully grown.  Like other cup-and-rings scattered along this geological ridge, it is associated with additional prehistoric features which local archaeologists have never bothered plotting: a real peculiarity, as this is a truly rich archaeological arena. Low walling and cairns are close by, all from the Bronze Age and possibly earlier. When we were children exploring this section of the moor, we also found a few flints scattered about (we threw ’em back into the peat, where they probably still remain).  The carving itself may be neolithic, but in all honesty until we get a decent archaeologist in the area willing to truly focus on our ancient monuments, we’ll never know the time periods of the remains here with any certainty.

When Boughey & Vickerman (2003) recorded this and other carvings nearby, they described it simplistically as:

“Medium-sized, rounded, triangular rock of medium grit, up to height of heather at centre. Two cups, of different size, and perhaps another.”

I’m not too sure about another to be honest, but I’d love to be wrong!  A curious straight line may run parallel to the cups, but this too may be natural.  I reckon the carving’s only gonna be of interest to the real rock-art fanatics out there.  But nearby, as you’ll find, are more impressive archetypal cup-and-rings…to be described later…

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Lanshaw CR-335

loading map - please wait...

Lanshaw CR-335 53.904725, -1.796923 Lanshaw CR-335

Lanshaw CR-09, Burley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13444 45444

Getting Here

Lanshaw Cup-marked Stone

A bit hard to locate. Take the route past the Haystack Rock onto the Idol Stone and Idol Rock, uphill, for a few hundred yards till you meet the distinct vegetational change and pits of Lanshaw Delves that run east-west. At this point on top of the path, walk to your left, due east, for 270 yards (247m), staying along the top of the ridge, then when you reach the flat-topped cup-and-ring marked Lanshaw Stone, head due north going down the heathery slope for about 50 yards until you find this reasonably large though flat earthfast stone. If you wanna locate it, you’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

Close-up of cupmarks

On an excursion that was exploring the relationship between prehistoric tombs and rock art in the area, this shallow carving was found that had, in a confusing way, been mis-catalogued in the archaeology registers – which confused us poor simpletons at the time!  Initial investigation indicated one primary cup-marking near the east-side of the stone, but when highlighted there was the possibility of another faint cup on the same section of the rock, just above the obvious one – but this still isn’t clear.

Cup-marks in better light

Found in association with other prehistoric remains close by, the carving is one that will probably be of interest just to those hardcore rock-art freaks amongst you.  However, there are a dozen other carvings close by, several of which are impressive cup-and-ring designs.  It’s one of around 50 cup-and-ring carvings on Rombald’s Moor that’s not in the Boughey & Vickerman (2003) survey — and this isn’t an easy one to see unless the lighting conditions are right.  This low rounded (female) rock has, since its initial discovery by the hardworking Mrs Potts, been stripped of its vegetation by members of the Ilkley CSI team when they found it for themselves.  Worth looking at if you’re exploring the other carvings nearby.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Lanshaw CR-9

loading map - please wait...

Lanshaw CR-9 53.904986, -1.796861 Lanshaw CR-9

Brown Law (310), Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 13191 46512

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.149 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.310 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Three cup-marks gently sleep

Get to the Cow & Calf Rocks, go up across the car-park as if you’re gonna go up onto the moor and walk up the steep footpath uphill to the left of the crags.  Once you get level with the crags, take the footpath bending left and walk along here for 110 yards, keeping your eyes peeled for the low smooth rock on the right of the footpath, just where another path meets it. You’ll find it.

Archaeology & History

Close-up, from above

This quiet little stone has seen better days.  Nearly destroyed a few weeks ago when the Emmerdale Farm film-crew churned up sections of the moor right over the side of this carving—but thankfully it still remains intact (you or I would have been prosecuted for such damage).* The carving is a simple one in graphic terms, comprising simply of three cup-markings, all on the southern side of the rock.  Close to several other petroglyphs (the Wray Stone is 78 yards north and several other more ornate carvings are close by), the carving was first described in the Hedges (1986) survey as a “small, low smooth grit rock sloping slightly NW to SE in crowberry, bilberry, grass and bracken. Three clear cups.”  But it has to be said, one of them is fading fast.  Let’s hope this humble little carving doesn’t fall prey to those who are gradually turning our moorlands into a park.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  2. Hedges, John, The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
* As the footpaths on Ilkley Moor continue to be widened and paved by those who reckon they like these moors, it’s obvious that more prehistoric sites up here are gonna get damaged. It’s difficult to see what the local archaeologist or Natural England are doing to ensure that these stupid environmentally damaging schemes do not encroach on the mass of rich prehistoric sites on the moors, most of which have never been adequately assessed (the philosophy of “if we don’t know it’s there, it doesn’t matter if we destroy it” seems evident in some of those working for the local council). Before any work or structures are dug on Ilkley Moor, an archaeological assessment is, I believe, supposed to take place – but I think this ‘work’ consists merely of looking at their own limited records, without any detailed fieldwork being undertaken. But as we know from research undertaken by rock art students at TNA, CSI and elsewhere, there are still many cup-and-ring stones, cairns and archaeological features constantly being discovered on these moors that are not in the record books.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Brown Law CR-310

loading map - please wait...

Brown Law CR-310 53.914591, -1.800666 Brown Law CR-310