Footsteps Stone, Ilkley, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 10382 47027

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.61 (Hedges 1986)
  2. Carving no.233 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Ilkley’s Footsteps Stone

Take the Wells Road from Ilkley centre up towards White Wells, bending to the right as you hit the edge of the moor. Keep along the road, past the old college building with its lake and turn right up Westwood Drive.  Keep going all the way up (it becomes Panorama Drive) till you hit the small woodland on your right. Where the woodland ends – stop!  Walk into the trees about 10-15 yards and you’ll see the large rocks ahead of you.  Brush back the vegetation and you’ll find it.

Archaeology & History

This large flat rock surface has a scattering of archetypal deep cup-markings, with other fainter marks scattered over most of its surface.  It sits right next to carving no.232, with its own equally large, naturally worn basins.

Faint cup&ring just visible

It was visited in the 1870s (along with the other Panorama Stones) and subsequently illustrated in the personal sketch-pad of Mr Thorton Dale (we’re hoping to have them scanned in due course for open Creative Commons use) who showed the basic cup-marks and shaped “lines” or footsteps that give this petroglyph its name.  Little more was said of it until Hedges (1986) described it in his survey, whose notes were subsequently repeated in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) work as being a “medium-sized flat-topped, upstanding rectangular rock.  Eight cups, six deep ovals, faint circles and lines on SW end.”  One of the most notable cup-and-rings can just be made out near the middle of the stone, on the left-side of one the footprints.

The depth of these incisions in this design strongly suggests that the carving was worked and reworked over many centuries, suggesting utilitarian usage of some kind, be it ceremonial or otherwise.  It’s also very unusual inasmuch as elongated footstep-like cuttings are scarcities, not just in Yorkshire petroglyphs, but in prehistoric carvings across Britain.  Check it out when you’re next walking up to the Swastika Stone.

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

Addingham Crag (02), Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07905 47268

Getting Here

Addingham Crag (2) stone

For those who like a walk: take the route to reach the Swastika Stone and keep walking west along the Millenium Way footpath, past the Piper’s Stone carving and over the next two walls.  Then, stagger down the steep hill and head for the large upright near-cuboid block of stone and, once here, walk 30 yards to your east!  Alternatively, from the Silsden-side, go along Brown Bank Lane up and past Brown Bank caravan park, and at the second crossroads turn right and travel for exactly 1¼ miles (2km) along Straight Lane (from hereon there’s nowhere to park!) which runs naturally into Moorside Lane, and notice the raised gate entrance into the field on your right. Walk to the top of this field, go through the next gate and, less than 100 yards uphill (south) you’ll find the stone in question.

Archaeology & History

Cup, incomplete ring & line

Rediscovered by Paul Bowers in 2011, this is another one of those petroglyphs that’s difficult to make out unless the light is falling just right across the surface of the stone.  Two distinct cup-marks can be seen near the more southern-edge of the stone, one of which has a near-complete, albeit unfinished ring around it, and from this a seemingly carved line runs roughly parallel with the edge of the stone, down towards another equally distinct cup close to the southwestern edge of the rock. Most of the stone is nicely covered in a decent lichen cover, so the design’s a bit difficult to see when the light’s not right.  But, if you’ve made it this far, the petroglyph 30 yards to the west will make up for any disappointment may have!

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding Supplement, 2018.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Piper’s Crag (4), Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 08675 47067 

Getting Here

Pipers Crag (4) cup-&-ring

Get up to the Swastika Stone, then head west along the footpath towards the Piper Stone.  Shortly before there, you’ll see the small cup-marked Piper’s Crag (3) carving, just by the walling.  From this carving, just step a few yards down the slope and on the smooth sloping rock face is this faded carving. You’ll see it.

Archaeology & History

A larger than normal single cup-mark near the bottom slope of this rock has an incomplete ring around its east and southern edges, possibly with another broken element of it on its northern edge.  It’s difficult to work out whether or not this is one of Nature’s curious markings and so needs looking at in different lights to work it out, one way or the other.  It’s included in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2018) updated rock art survey, but there are a number quite natural cup-marks in that tome, so we need to exercise a little bit of caution here.  However, it does seem to have a greater degree of authenticity than some of the other dubious single cup-marked stones in their book.  Check it out on your way to the Piper’s Stone.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding Supplement, 2018.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Piper’s Crag (3), Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 08673 47062

Getting Here

“X” marks the spot!

Heading up from Ilkley, follow the directions to reach the Swastika Stone, then keep walking (west) along the footpath to the small clump of trees, and keep walking past them too and keep going along the same path as if you’re heading toward the Piper’s Stone.   About 200 yards before reaching it, just where the gate and boundary stone is in the old walling, there’s a small line of crags to the right of your feet and there, at the edge of the path, is the stone in question.  You’ll see it (unless it’s a cloudy gray day, in which case you might struggle).

Archaeology & History

The two cup-marks

This is one of a number of cup-marked stones that you’ll find scattering this part of the moor, almost all of which are Nature’s handiwork (a few of these natural carvings have somehow found their way into Keith Boughey’s [2018] updated West Riding rock art book).  I’m not 110% certain that this doesn’t have Nature’s name on it either, but it’s got a greater degree of probability to it than some of the others.  It’s a simple little thing, as y’ can see, consisting of just the two cup-marks, smaller than usual, living next to each other.  If it’s the real deal, we can surmise that it may have been carved by a young person back-in-the-days.  In the walling just above this stone you can see the medieval boundary stone, which might—just might—have a prehistoric pedigree to it….

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding Supplement, 2018.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Rivock Nose (1), Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07355 44628

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.12 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.45 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Rivock Nose (1) stone

Follow the directions as if you’re visiting the fascinating Wondjina Stone and its companion. From here look at the large rocks on the edge of the drop a few yards away (west) and you’re looking for the flattest rectangular rock jutting out over the edge of the slope, about 15 yards from the walling.  The carvings of Rivock (2) and (3) are on the adjacent rocks.

Archaeology & History

The southernmost of (at least) three cup-marked rocks on the edge of this outcrop, it isn’t a carving I’d necessarily include in my own surveys nowadays.  It’s a dubious one to say the least.  Nonetheless, earlier surveyors added it in their catalogues.

Lichen-covered “cups”

First mentioned in John Hedges’ (1986) survey, this large and roughly flat rectangular boulder possesses three or four questionable cups close to the edge of the stone. Boughey & Vickerman (2003) subsequently included it in their own work—copying Hedges’ notes—and told it to be a “large rock. About three cups on NW side.”  Have a look at it when you visit the other more impressive Rivock carvings nearby and see what you think…

References:

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

Rivock Nose (3), Keighley, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 07359 44636

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.13 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.47 (Boughey & Vickerman)
Rivock Nose (3) stone

Getting Here

Take the same directions as if you’re visiting the fascinating Wondjina Stone and its companion.  From here, just a few yards to the west, are the large rocks overhanging the steep hill, several of which have cup-markings on them (including the carvings Rivock Nose [1] and [2]).  This particular carving is the one closest to the wall.  You can’t really miss it!

Archaeology & History

Line of 3 cups

A simplistic design that’ll only be of interest to the real geeks amongst you; but you might as well give it your attention when you’re looking at the adjacent Wondjina Stone.   On its large surface, the most notable ingredients are the three large cups that run (roughly) in a straight line from the middle of the stone to its outer pointy edge.  You can see them pretty clearly in the photo.  Several other cup-marks can be seen on the more northwesterly side of the stone.

It was first described in John Hedges (1986) survey, whose notes were simply copied in the subsequent survey of Boughey & Vickerman (2003) where, in their traditional way, gave a very basic description, saying, “Large gritstone outcrop: 3m x 2m. Five cups towards NW edge.”

References:

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

Snake Stone, Hawksworth, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 15078 43546

Getting Here

Snake Stone carving

On the moorland road from Dick Hudson’s pub, head east along the Otley Road for more than 1½ miles, past the T-junction right-turn at Intake Gate (to Hawksworth) and just a quarter-mile further on park-up at the roadside (opposite Reva Reservoir). Walk (north) thru the gate into the field and after 300 yards through another gate into the next field.  From this gate, walk straight north to the Fraggle Rock cup-and-ring stone, then go down the slope NNW for nearly 50 yards and just above the old track you’ll see the edge of this stone peeking out!

Archaeology & History

One of a number of previously unrecorded carvings in these fields, this is a pretty simplistic but unique design. The first thing you’ll notice is at the top-corner of the stone where, like many rocks on these moors, a nicely-worn cup stands out.  Erosion obviously…. or so it first seems. This cup-mark has another two by its side, along the top edge of the stone which, again, initially suggested them to be little more than natural.  But in rolling back the turf this assumption turns out to be wrong; for, along the west-side of the rock you’ll see a notable pecked groove running down to another cup-mark about twelve inches below, kinking slightly just before it reaches that cup. You can see this in the photo. Now, if we return to the prominent cup-mark at the top corner of the stone, in certain light there seems to be a very faint incomplete ring around it – but we can’t say for certain and it needs to be looked at again in better light.

Cups & line clearly visible
Main carved section

The name given to this carving (thanks to Collette Walsh) comes from the wavy lines that go into the middle of the stone from the long pecked line.  These wavy lines are natural, although one portion of them might have been artificially enhanced.  It’s difficult to tell one way or the other and we’ll have to wait for the computer boys to assess this particular ingredient.  Just above these “waves” is a single eroded cup-mark nearly 2-inch across.  And that’s that!

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Brass Castle (1), West Morton, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 08119 44111

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no. 40 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no. 81 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Brass Castle (1) Cup&Ring

From East Morton, head up the winding Street Lane for just over a mile until, on your right-hand side, you hit the long straight Roman Road, or Ilkley Road as it’s known.  Literally 690 yards (0.63km) up, on your left a footpath is signposted.  Take the path alongside the wall, through the first gate (note the pile of stones at this gate, which are the remains of the destroyed Bradup stone circle) then keeping on for ⅓-mile till you reach another gate, then 200 yards to the next one where you reach the moorland proper.  From here you need to walk through the heather, just over 300 yards southwest where you’ll reach this large rock. Y’ can’t miss it!

Archaeology & History

Looking down at the CnR

Considering the size of this stone, visitors might expect there to be more on it than there actually is; although a large section of it has been quarried off and there might have been more to it in earlier times.  A basic cup-and-ring with one or two single cup-marks elsewhere on its surface, the carving was first described by Stuart Feather (1964) following one of his many rambles hereby, when he was checking out the Rivock carvings a short distance to the west (calling it the Rivock 18 stone).  He wrote:

S. Feather’s 1964 sketch

“On the eastern edge of the Rivock plateau, about half-a-mile west of the stone circle at Bradup Bridge, is a cup-and-ring marked rock of a pronounced triangular shape.  This at present measures 10ft by 8ft and is 3ft high at its western side… At some time in the past it has been quarried, probably to build part of the adjacent gritstone walls.  The 8ft side of the rock has quite distinct drill marks visible…

Close-up of the CnR

The rock has…on its sloping surface a very fine cup-and-ring mark, the ring 6in in diameter around a cup 2in deep, all finely executed and well preserved.  Running south from this cup-and-ring mark is a level area 3ft long and 5in wide, which ends alongside the ring at one end and at the quarried edge of the rock at the other.  This is probably the former position of a fossil which has weathered out and its alignment onto the cup-and-ring may be due to the carving having been deliberately sited in juxtaposition to this very distinct natural feature.  Only one other 2in deep cup remains on the surviving original portion of the rock; others may have been quarried away.”

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart, “Mid-Wharfedale Cup-and-Ring Markings – no.18, Rivock”,  in Bradford Cartwright Hall Archaeology Bulletin, 9:2, 1964.
  3. Hedges, John (ed.), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Way Hagg, West Ayton Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stones (lost):  OS Grid Reference – SE 9657 8840

Archaeology & History

In the autumn of 1848, antiquarian John Tissiman (1850) and his associates took to uncovering two burial mounds amidst a large cluster of them on the eastern edge of West Ayton Moor.  This one at Way Hagg was quite a big fella, measuring 36 yards across.  When they cut into its northern edge towards the centre, 8-10 feet in, they came across an upright stone, nearly two feet high, on which five cup-marks had been cut. (see sketch, no.2)  Slightly beyond this were three other stones (in sketch, nos.1, 3 & 4), each with cup-marks on them, beneath which was a tall urn.  Whether or not the carvings had been deliberately positioned to cover the urn, we do not know. Nonetheless, we can be reasonably assured that these petroglyphs had some mythic association with death when they were placed here.

Tissiman gave us the following detailed measurements of the respective carvings:

1: Nearly even surface. Length, from 16 to 18 inches; breadth, 10 to 20 ditto; depth, 8 to 9 ditto; with large oval hole cut in the centre, 7½ inches long, 4 inches broad, and 3½ inches in depth.  On the opposite side are three holes, from 2 to 3 inches in diameter, and from 1 inch to 1½ deep.  2: Uneven surface. Length, 23 inches; breadth, 14 inches; depth, 13 inches; with five holes, from l½ to 3½ inches in diameter, and 1 to 1½ inches in depth.  3: Uneven surface. Length, 33 inches; breadth, 22 inches; depth, 10 inches, with four holes, the largest being 4½ inches in diameter and 3 inches deep; the others, from 1½ inches to 2 inches in diameter, and 1 to 1½ inches deep.  4: Uneven surface. Length, 27 inches; breadth, 23½ inches; depth, 10 inches, with 13 holes, from 1½ inches to 5 inches in diameter, and ¾ of an inch to 3 inches in depth; also three lines at the end of the stone.”

The carvings were included in Brown & Chappell’s (2005) fine survey, but they weren’t able to find out what happened to them after Tissiman’s excavation. They remain lost.  If anyone has any information as to where they might be, please let us know.

References:

  1. Brown, Paul & Chappell, Graeme, Prehistoric Rock Art in the North York Moors, Tempus: Stroud 2005.
  2. Tissiman, John, “Report on Excavations in Barrows, in Yorkshire,” in Journal British Archaeological Association, April 1850.

Acknowledgements:  Huge thanks for use of the Ordnance Survey map in this site profile, reproduced with the kind permission of the National Library of Scotland

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Haw Farm (01), Swartha, Silsden, West Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 05206 46856

Archaeology & History

An intriguing find, made not too long ago by Jeff Wallbank of Silsden.  Simplistic in design, it’s found on a small ridge of rocks adjacent to an old quarry (so there may have been other carvings here in times gone by), rising up immediately south of Haw Farm about 20 yards away, from where you can ask permission of the kind land-owner to have a look at the stone.

It’s pretty basic: consisting of a distinct triangle of three plain cup-marks on one side of a natural crack that runs across a section of the stone. Immediately adjacent and on the other side of this crack, is another singular cup.  This appears to have a carved line running from it and possibly an elongated semi-circular element around the cup itself.  It’s not too special when compared to the much more ornate petroglyphs further east, but is worth checking out if you’re walking in this gorgeous western edge of Rombalds Moor.

Acknowledgements:  HUGE thanks to Sarah Walker, without whose help and permission to use her photos, this site profile could not have been written.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian