Split Rock, Rivock, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07989 44208

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.39 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.80 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Split Rock, Rivock
Split Rock, Rivock

Head up to Rivock’s Wondjina Stone carving, then keep going east to the Long Rock.  Wander 100 or more further east till you see the fence, and about 50 yards before this check out the large rocks which you’ll notice near to each other.  One of them is this Split Rock!

Archaeology & History

First described in Hedges’ (1986) survey, this is a large flattish boulder, split across one side, with two distinct cup-marks on its eastern side and a number of other ‘possibles’ scattering the surface.  The most intriguing bit to this rock is on its lower eastern side.  Here’s what Boughey & Vickerman (2003) described as,

CR80-2
Deep cup-and-half-ring

“one clear cup (doubtful) discovered under turf…at extreme lower SE corner, with possible attempt at pecked partial ring.”

This cup they describe as “doubtful” is quite deep, but the half-ring on its northern side has definite artificial peck-marks.  I’m more of the opinion that this cup-and-half-ring is man-made — though whether it was done in more recent years is the more debatable aspect here.  I’ll try getting some better images (and a drawing) of this stone when we’re next up here.

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.893988, -1.879920 Split Rock CR

Rivock Nose Carving, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07360 44629

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.11 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.46 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Follow the same directions for reaching the Wondjina Stone.  Once here, walk to the edge of the cliffs less than 10 yards away!

Archaeology & History

Possible cup-markings at Rivock Edge
Possible cup-markings at Rivock Edge

I’ve gotta admit, I was slightly surprised to find this carving logged in both Hedges (1986) and Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) surveys.  Although we find the distinct appearence of cup-markings near the edge of the cliff at the northwestern end of Rivock Edge, these seem a little too close to being natural to be comfortably acknowledged in archaeo-texts without notes the contrary.  I took a photo of them when we were up visiting the other day, but didn’t expect them to be in the books.  Not only do they include this probably natural example, they also add another two rocks found along the cliff edges (Hedges 12 & 13; B&V 45 & 47).  In the event that these carvings are deemed authentic, then those along the edge of the great Kirk cliffs above Steeton must also be added to the same pot.

In the photo here you can work out perhaps nine cup-marks near the edge of the cliff, which is what the textbooks say.  Make your own mind up when your next looking at the Wondjina Stone and others nearby.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart, ‘Mid-Wharfedale Cup-and-Ring Markings: Nos. 7 & 8, Rivock Edge,’ in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin, 6:8, 1961.
  3. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

 

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  53.897781, -1.889481 Rivock Nose CR-46

Niplet Stone, Rivock, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07481 44452

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.23 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.59 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Niplet Stone (after Hedges)
Niplet Stone (after Hedges)

Follow the same directions to reach the nearby Wondjina Stone, but as you reach the trig-point at the top of Rivock Edge, note the smooth rounded boulder 50 yards ESE.  That’s it!

Archaeology & History

Named after the sea of cotton grasses, or niplets (Eriophorum angustifolium), amidst which it lives for several weeks of the year, the cups-marks that make up this design can be terribly difficult to work out even in the best of lighting.  We have here a lichen-encrusted stone with perhaps as many as 25 cup-marks scattering, mainly, the top and westerly sloping face.  Although some of the cups are quite noticeable, the vegetative growth and simple erosion has made an accurate visual impression of the original carving very difficult — as the images plainly tell!  If I ever manage to capture the stone resting in a good mood, I’ll replace the photos I’ve got here!

Niplet Stone, looking SE
Niplet Stone, looking SE
Beautiful fusion of faded cups, lichen & great age...
Beautiful fusion of faded cups, lichen & great age…

Although I remember coming here and seeing this and the nearby carvings when I was a teenager, then a few years later on with Edna Whelan and Graeme Chappell, it seems that the first literary note of this carving after my own initial exploration was in the Ilkley Archaeology Group’s survey (Hedges 1986), where they make note of a flint that was found beside the stone.  Boughey and Vickerman (2003) later include the same stone in their work, but with no additional information.

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

 

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  53.896189, -1.887644 Niplet Stone CR

Wondjina Stone, Rivock, Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07366 44628

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.10 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.49 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Wondjina Stone, Rivock
Wondjina Stone, Rivock

A wonderful site, though a bittova walk for city-minded folk.  Head up the road from Riddlesden, Keighley, towards the southern edge of Rombalds Moor and keep going till you reach the road which surrounds the moor (called Silsden Road).  At the T-junction in front of you is a path which takes you onto the fields and moor.  Go over the stile and walk straight up the steepish field that follows the straight line of the forest, all the way to the top.  Climb over the wall on your left when you reach the top of the tree-line, walk past the triangulation pillar for 100 yards or so till you hit the end of the walling before it drops back into the trees.  The carving’s under your nose!

Archaeology & History

Wondjina Stone01
Rivock Edge’s ‘Wondjina’ carving

The name of this carving is based on a first impression I got of it when I came here as a young lad, still in my teens.  The ‘Wondjina’ is a name given to primal aboriginal spirits whose images are etched and painted on rock surfaces in various parts of Australia (usually rock overhangs or in caves).  Don’t ask me why, but that was the impression I first got of this stone — and it’s something that stays with me.  Some archaeo’s won’t like the association such mythic ancestral beings may have upon people’s notions of cup-and-ring art, but they tend to be the ones who have little educational background regarding the animistic nature of rocks in traditional and peasant societies: ingredients that are integral to these ancient carvings, as research worldwide clearly shows.

The carving was first described by our old Yorkshire historian Arthur Raistrick (1936) in an early essay on Yorkshire rock carvings; and then again in a later article by Stuart Feather. (1961)  The primary design is of a large single cup-and-ring at one end of the rock, with a series of seemingly unbroken lines reaching up (or perhaps moving away) from the cup-and-ring.  A long central line runs through the middle of the Wondjina ‘being’, which initially seems to have been a series of cups linked by this line; though these cups (at least four of them) have eroded over time and are difficult to see without good sunlight.  What seem to be several other very eroded cup-marks are also found on two of the other long lines.  These can be made out in the photograph here.

Close-up of lines & cup-marks
Close-up of lines & cup-marks

Another carving is on the stone right next to this one (2ft away) and there are several other cup-marked stones to be found along the same ridge (carving numbers 058, 059, 060, etc).  And for those of you into landscape archaeology, take the position of this carving into consideration.  The view from here is  quite superb and on clear days a number of prominent hills and important mythological landscape features stand out.  To those of you who think such things unimportant or of little relevance in the mythography of our ancestors — you’ve a lot to learn!  Otherwise, a visit to this carving and its associates is well worth a trek!

References:

  1. Bennett, Paul, ‘The Prehistoric Rock Art and Megalithic Remains of Rivock & District (2 parts),’ in Earth, 3-4, 1986.
  2. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  3. Feather, Stuart, ‘Mid-Wharfedale Cup-and-Ring Markings: Nos. 7 & 8, Rivock Edge,’ in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin, 6:8, 1961.
  4. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombald’s Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
  5. Raistrick, Arthur, “‘Cup-and-Ring’ Marked Rocks of West Yorkshire,’ in Yorkshire Archaeology Journal, 32, 1936.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  53.897772, -1.889390 Wondjina Stone CR