Lund Well, Bingley, West Yorkshire

Sacred Well (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 0973 4091

Archaeology & History

Lund Well on 1852 map

Lund Well on 1852 map

Once found in a cluster of three little wells all very close to each other near the top of the field where the Crossflatts roundabout joins up with the Aire-Valley trunk road, this is an intriguing site if you happen to be a pagan, or have an interest in druidism — and for one main reason: its name.  When I first came across a reference to the place about 25 years ago, the only piece of information I could find about it came from the arduous detailed researches of the Victorian industrial historian J. Horsfall Turner who, unfortunately, neglected to record much of the fading folklore in the region at his time.  Marked on the 1852 6-inch Ordnance Survey map, ‘Lund’ was a bit of an etymological curiosity, and Mr Turner (1897) thought the well’s name was little other than that of a local mill owner, whose nickname was ‘Lund’ Thompson.  He was guessing of course…and I thought little more about it…

Years later when looking through A.H. Smith’s (1961-63) magnum opus on the place-names of West Yorkshire, I found that he didn’t include the Lund Well in his survey.  However, an eventual perusal of Kenneth Cameron’s (1996) work told that in Old Norse place-names (and there is a preponderance of such places scattering Yorkshire and Lancashire), lund or lundr was a “‘small wood, grove,’ also had a meaning, ‘sacred grove’.” The word is echoed in old French, launde, meaning ‘forest glade’.  In A.H. Smith’s (1954) earlier etymological magnum opus he said that the word derives from a “small wood, grove, also a sacred grove, one offering sanctuary.”  However, Margaret Gelling (2000) urged caution on the origin of lund as a sacred grove and erred more to the usual English tendency of depersonalizing everything, taking any animistic attribution away from its root meaning; but we must urge caution upon her caution here!  Neither Joseph Wright (English Dialect Dictionary vol.3 1905) nor William Grant (Scottish National Dictionaryvol.6, 1963) have entries for this word, so we must assume the Scandinavian root word origin to be correct.

One vitally important ingredient with the Lund Well is its geographical position.  For across the adjacent River Aire the land climbs uphill—and a few hundred yards above we reach the well-known and legendary Druid’s Altar, with its Druid’s Well just below.  This association is what suggests our Lund Well may have had a real association with a “sacred grove of trees”, as—despite us knowing very little about them—we do at least know that druids performed rites in sacred groves.  In Greenbank’s (1929) historical analysis of the Druid’s Altar, he was left perplexed as to the origin of its name as all early accounts and popular culture assigned it this title, and so he opted for the probability that the druids did indeed once perform rites here.  If this was true, then our seemingly innocuous Lund Well once had a much more sacred history than anyone might have thought.  Sadly, those self-righteous industrialists destroyed it….

References:

  1. Cameron, Kenneth, English Place-Names, Batsford: London 1996. 
  2. Gelling, Margaret, Place-Names in the Landscape, Phoenix: London 2000.
  3. Greenbank, Sydney, The Druid’s Altar, Bingley, R.G. Preston: Bingley 1929.
  4. Smith, A.H., English Place-Name Elements – volume 2, Cambridge University Press 1954.
  5. Smith, A.H., The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire – 8 volumes, Cambridge University Press 1961-63.
  6. Wainwright, F.T., Scandinavian England, Phillimore: Chichester 1975.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Lund Well

loading map - please wait...

Lund Well 53.864317, -1.853532 Lund Well

Kirk Stones, Morton Moor, West Yorkshire

Legendary Rocks (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 0886 4479

Archaeology & History

Kirk Stones on 1851 map

Kirk Stones on 1851 map

A place-name that is still recognised on modern Ordnance Survey maps, even though the original site giving rise to it was all but destroyed some one hundred-and-fifty years ago.  Derived from the old word kirk, meaning a church or sacred site, no christian remains of any kind have ever existed here and so we must presume an earlier, more heathen site of sanctity (an abundance of prehistoric petroglyphs exist very close by).  The singular reference detailing the nature of these Kirk Stones is in J.A. Busfield’s (1875) rare tract on the history of Upwood, in the parish of Bingley.  Upwood Hall was built by the Busfield family and, as the author tells,

“one of the most striking features in the vicinity at this age [c.1800, PB] was the fine range of magnificent rocks called Kirkstones, which had existed for countless ages. These grand rocks, towering one above another, extended along the whole southern boundary of the [Whetstone] Allotment on the left of the road to Ilkley, and were really a fine object, but alas!, through the ignorance or stupidity of the agent Colonel Bence, the “Crags of Kirkstone” were broken up and disposed of in the construction of the Bradford Water Works about the year 1854.”

Sadly we have neither illustrations nor other references to these fine sounding sentinels.
Undoubtedly the Kirkstones were a natural feature, despite their venerated title. It would have been their very appearance that gave rise to their revered title, as in the great and contorted rock masses seen at Brimham Rocks which, from Bensons’s description, these Kirk Stones seem reminiscent. The only piece of extant lore to these stones is that the uprights that went into making the recently destroyed Bradup stone circle a short distance south of here, came from this sacred outcrop.  It seems reasonable to assume that they played an important role in the magickal history of these hills when they were scattered with forest.

The Kirk Stones aligned along the equinox axis to the Black Knoll standing stone less than a mile [1.4km] due east.

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, The Old Stones of Elmet, Capall Bann: Milverton 2001.
  2. Busfield, Johnson Atkinson, Fragments Relating to a History of Bingley Parish, Bradford 1875.
  3. Smith, A.H., English Place-Name Elements – Part 2, Cambridge University Press 1956.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Kirk Stones

loading map - please wait...

Kirk Stones 53.899193, -1.866724 Kirk Stones

Rivock Enclosure, Riddlesden, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Enclosure:  OS Grid Reference – SE 0768 4414

Getting Here

Rivock Enclosure walling, looking north
Rivock Enclosure walling, looking north

Follow the directions to reach the small Rivock East Carving just on the level of the small moorland.  From here, walk less than 100 yards east, staying just on the edge of the moor, keeping your eyes peeled for the irregular shaped rocks running in lines roughly parallel with the footpath above the edge of the crags.

Archaeology & History

Recent explorations in and around the Rivock Edge area found, not only a number of undiscovered cup-and-ring stones, but the overgrown remains of an undoubted prehistoric enclosure on the ridge of moorland above the rock escarpment which has not previously been reported in archaeological surveys.  Much of the time the area is covered in deep heather, but thanks to this small section of moor being burnt back a short while ago, the lines of walling that mark the enclosure are there for all to see. It’s obvious that some sections of the old walls have been removed in the not-too-distant past for use in more modern walling and, nearby, old quarries and farming have probably been responsible for other destructive elements.

Easternmost line of Rivock enclosure walling
Easternmost line of Rivock enclosure walling

This enclosure is of a rough, rounded, scalene triangular formation, with the main piece of extant walling running roughly northeast-southwest.  The walling is typical of other settlements and enclosures in the region, probably Bronze Age in nature, Iron Age at the latest, with some natural earthfast boulders marking parts of the outline and many smaller pieces of rock and packing stones being added to build up the structure.  The same layout is found at other nearby prehistoric enclosures at Crow Well, Dumpit Hill, Snowden Moor, Woofa Bank and many others.

Of the larger upright stones in the Rivock Enclosure, several of them stand about three feet high, with some of them having been knocked down.  The longest line of walling, running roughly east-west, is less than 50 yards long; whilst the enclosure wall running roughly north-south on its eastern side is 30 yards long.  Much of the walling along its northern side appears overgrown and sections of it are missing.

For a long time I puzzled as to whether there had been any settlements on this part of Rombald’s Moor, rich in cup-and-rings stones — and at last we find that there was at least one such site.  Forays back and forth across the level ground all around here failed to locate any other similar enclosure remains; but it may be that some have been covered (or were destroyed) in the adjacent forestry plantation to the west.  Further explorations by fellow antiquarians may prove worthwhile when the forest is cut down in the next few years.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.893382, -1.884624 Rivock Enclosure

East Riddlesden Cross, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cross:  OS Grid Reference – SE 079 421

Archaeology & History

A little-known early christian relic found in the driveway to East Riddlesden Hall was saved and propped up in the stable floor at the back.  In 1984 however, the National Trust got round to moving it and bringing the relic to greater public attention by putting it on display in the great hall of the building. (I think you’ve gotta pay to go in and see the stone these days – which is a bittova pain if you just want to examine the carving)

Old photo of the carved stone (after Margaret Faull)

Measuring just 1 foot across and 2 feet high and carved on all sides, the design is all too familiar to those of you exploring early christian or late-Celtic art forms.  Executed sometime between the 5th-10th century, on the main face of the cross we have the traditional ‘Celtic’ interlacing, with a bird-figure emerging on or around an early ‘cross’ symbol.  There are a variety of interpretations of this, but none relate to any modern christian mythic structures.  Indeed, we should cautiously reflect on the more pre-christian nature of this design: carved as it was at a time when the spirit of the natural world (animism) was endemic amongst all people.  This carving would in some way reflect such implicit subjectivity, though perhaps have had emergent ideals relevant to the christian cult within it.  However, we should be cautious about this christian idea, despite it being much in vogue by prevailing groups of consensus trance historians.

References:

  1. Faull, Margaret L., “The Display of the Anglo-Saxon Crosses of the Keighley Area,” in Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society, New Series no.30, 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

East Riddlesden Cross

loading map - please wait...

East Riddlesden Cross 53.875043, -1.881328 East Riddlesden Cross

Rivock East Carving, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone: OS Grid Reference – SE 07640 44215

Getting Here

Cupmarks at Rivock East

Take the same directions as if you’re going to Dave’s Stone, to the eastern end of Rivock Edge itself. Then take less than 10 steps further onto the moor itself and you’ll see the stone pretty low down in the heather. (please note that grid-reference above needs revising)

Archaeology & History

…and looking straight down!

Found about 10 yards onto the flat ridge south of Dave’s Stone cup-marked stone, the vegetation covering this carving had only recently been brushed off when we revisited the place in 2012, by members of the Ilkley CSI team in their own survey of the area.  As you can see, it’s a simple design of just two well-preserved cups on a small rounded stone. What may be the remains of a very faint ring arc is possible over one of the two cups. Nowt much more to say really!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.894056, -1.885231 Rivock East CR

Rivock Well, Silsden, West Yorkshire

Healing Well:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07782 44863

Getting Here

Rivock Well pool

From the B6265 valley road between Bingley and Keighley, just near Riddlesden Hall, take the road up and over the canal into Riddlesden, bearing left up past West Riddlesden Hall and up Banks Lane. As you reach the T-junction at the top, where you hit the Silsden Road that goes round the moors, park up.Cross the road and follow the footpath diagonally across the bottom of the field, then when you hit the track, follow it up through the closed gates into the woods.  A half-mile along the track, watch out for the dark pool a few yards beneath you on your left.  That’s it!

Archaeology & History

The spirit and feel of this pool is a curious one: still, calming, but with a slight sense of unease at times.  It felt like this before the large forestry plantation was planted around it — so it’s good to know it’s kept its spirit intact.  I’m not quite sure how long it will last though… The small spring of water from just above the edge of the pool which in part feeds it, tastes good and refreshing after a good downpour, but sometimes in recent years the waters have slowed somewhat compared to earlier decades — an unhealthy state of affairs that’s happening all over the world.

A favourite haunt for very colourful dragonflies, deer, pheasant and other animals, very little has been written about this site.  Said by place-name authorities to get its name from an old oak that once stood by its side, the name must be pretty old as no remains of such a tree has been mentioned by any antiquarians in the last 200 years.  But the first element in the place-name “riv-ock” is an intriguing puzzle.  Does it mean simply a split oak?  Or was it a more regal in nature, and derive from the old Gaelic Righ, (proncounced ‘ree’) meaning a King’s Oak?  More probably the name relates to the “well by the twisted oak,” from the dialect word, rive, or ‘twisted’.  However, when we begin exploring dialect variations on this word, a whole host of possible meanings emerge!

Ancient people who lived on these moors obviously used this well — and no doubt had old tales of its medicinal virtues, but sadly these are lost.  All we have to remind us that our ancestors came here are the numerous cup-and-ring stones found at Rivock Edge itself, a short distance southeast of here…

References:

  1. Whelan, Edna & Taylor, Ian, Yorkshire Holy Wells and Sacred Springs, Northern Lights: Dunnington 1989.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.899878, -1.883054 Rivock Well

Rivock End, Riddlesden, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07782 43878  

Getting Here

Clusters of cup-markings

From the B6265 valley road between Bingley and Keighley, just near Riddlesden Hall, take the road up and over the canal into Riddlesden, bearing left up past West Riddlesden Hall and up Banks Lane. As you reach the T-junction at the top, where you hit the Silsden Road that goes round the moors, park up.  Turn left and walk along the Silsden Road, counting the field on your left, moorland-side.  At the fourth, go through the gate uphill, keeping to the walls on the right and going through the second gate up.  Walk straight on for nearly 130 yards (119m) where you’ll see this group of three earthfast rocks right next to each other.

Archaeology & History

‘Ring of cups’ motif

Not included in any pervious archaeological survey, this is a fine cup-marked stone with at least 25 cups etched into this average-sized rock, halfway up this field of stones.  When this carving was rediscovered on Friday, 6 January, 2012, it was noticed that a couple of cup-marks were peeking out from the edge of the grasses covering the rock — and so a careful and gradual uncovering of the rock itself was slowly exposed and see if the initial suspicions of an authentic carving were correct.  Thankfully it turned out right!

When first spotting this, I undercovered more beneath the soil, although it’s not clear how much of this stone is covered in carvings, as the Earth has grown considerably over the top of it.  There is also what seems to be a geological curiosity on the eastern section of the stone; whereby some apparent ‘cups’ seem to have been created by natural process.  However, these have been added to by human hands at a distant time, long ago.  The cup-marks themselves vary in size, from small ones barely an inch across, to larger ones measuring some 3-inches in diameter; and oddly, the cups seem to get larger the further west you travel across the stone!  More research is needed at this site to ascertain the a more complete image of the petroglyph.

…to be continued…

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.891025, -1.883078 Rivock End CR

Dave’s Stone, Rivock, Riddlesden, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07634 44209

Getting Here

Rock with cup-markings

From the B6265 valley road between Bingley and Keighley, just near Riddlesden Hall, take the road up and over the canal into Riddlesden, bearing left up past West Riddlesden Hall and up Banks Lane. As you reach the T-junction at the top, where you hit the Silsden Road that goes round the moors, park up. Takes the footpath across the road and walk straight uphill, all the way to the top just above where the tree line ends and you’re on the moorland flat.  Bear right, over one wall, then walk 20-30 yards further and the stone in the photo here should be roughly under thine nostrils!

Archaeology & History

There’s no previous record of this as a cup-marked stone, so it needs adding here.  I’ve gotta admit that I’m not 100% sure about it as a real prehistoric carving — but considering the dubious nature of the nearby Carving no.58 and the Rivock Nose Stone, this is roughly somewhere in-between in terms of its legitimacy as an ancient carved stone.  Certainly I’ve come across other cup-markings, adjudged by newly-qualified ‘professionals’ as fine, but which I find highly questionable — so this one that Dave Hazell came across a couple of years ago should certainly be added to their professional rock art catalogues.

Close-up of the cupmarks

It’s simple enough: a four-feet long stone, whose top east-facing edge has been worked in more recent centuries by the miners who dug on the slopes below (perhaps to turn it into a gatepost?).  There are three notable ‘cups’ that are clearly visible on the photos here.  The topmost cup is something pretty recent, having had industrial attention given it; the largest cup may be natural; but the one in the middle seems to be what our English Heritage rock-art enthusiasts term a legitimate prehistoric petroglyph.  It certainly seems a good one!  Have a look for yourself and see what you reckon! It’s in a good spot and is certainly worth the wander, if only to have a look at other cup-and-rings in the region.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Dave's Stone CR

loading map - please wait...

Dave\'s Stone CR 53.894003, -1.885322 Dave\'s Stone CR

Rivock Edge (60), Silsden, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07476 44475

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.22 (Hedges)
  2. Roof Stone

Getting Here

Cup-mark on top of the rock

From the B6265 valley road between Bingley and Keighley, just near Riddlesden Hall, take the road up and over the canal into Riddlesden, bearing left up past West Riddlesden Hall and up Banks Lane. As you reach the T-junction at the top, where you hit the Silsden Road that goes round the moors, park up. Cross the road and follow the footpath up the field, but walk up the side of the field-wall where the woods are, all the way to the top. On the flat, you’ll see a gap in the woods on your left, and the triangulation pillar atop of Rivock Edge 150 yards away.  Head towards it, watching out for one of the natural rocks rising near the middle of the grasses. It’s one of them!

Archaeology & History

Faint cup-and-ring, centre of photo

Exactly halfway between the cup-marked Niplet Stone and the large flat Carving 58 (Boughey & Vickerman survey) is this natural long upright rock, shaped in the form of a house-roof, with its apex running along an axis SE-NW, its sloping sides dropping either side into the deep wet heather.  Upon its crown is what may be a singular cup-marking, almost perfectly formed, though is just as likely to be Nature’s handiwork as much as anything else.  But on its western-face, within the mass of old lichen painting the rock surface, a more distinct man-made cup-mark has been cut.

On its eastern face, close to where the rock meets the boggy Earth, a singular faint cup-and-ring design can be made out, albeit a somewhat mis-shapen one.  It’s easily missed if the lighting isn’t too good as it’s very eroded indeed.  The carving was first described in Mr Hedges (1986) survey, where he told:

“Rough grit rock with ridge, in crowberry and heather with cup and ring on E edge and possible cups and grooves.”

The stone’s certainly worth visiting, as a number of other cup-and-ring stones scatter this region — half of them officially recorded, but nearly as many again that aren’t.  It’s a good area to explore.

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, “The Prehistoric Rock Art and Megalithic Remains of Rivock & District (parts 1 & 2),” in Earth, 3-4, 1986.
  2. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  3. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  4. Morris, Ronald W.B., “The Prehistoric Rock Art of Great Britain: A Survey of All Sites Bearing Motifs more Complex than Simple Cup-marks,” in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, volume 55, 1989.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.896396, -1.887720 Rivock Edge CR-60

Rivock Edge (58), Silsden, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07466 44497

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.21 (Hedges)

Getting Here

Take the same directions as if you’re visiting the Rivock Edge 060 Carving.  It’s 25 yards NNW – you can’t really miss it!

Archaeology & History

Rivock Edge, carving 58

This large flat rock, with a couple of long lines almost splitting the rock into sections, was first mentioned as a prehistoric site in John Hedges (1986) survey, where he described it simply as, “Large rough grit rock with possible four cups, in crowberry.” Boughey & Vickerman (2003) said even less about it!  One of the cups is very distinct, but the others are somewhat faded and perhaps even dubious.  It’s still worth a look at, if only due to the other better carvings nearby.

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, “The Prehistoric Rock Art and Megalithic Remains of Rivock & District (parts 1 & 2),” in Earth, 3-4, 1986.
  2. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  3. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

 

loading map - please wait...

  53.896593, -1.887872 Rivock Edge CR-58