Enclosure Carving, Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 12836 46147

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no.129 (Hedges)
  2. Carving no.288 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Enclosure Stone design (after Hedges 1986)
Enclosure Stone design (after Hedges 1986)

Nice n’ easy.  Get to the Haystack Rock and walk on the path west (past the Three Cups Stone) and where the path swings round following the edge of the small Backstone valley, keep going for 150 yards or so.  Keep your eyes out for the remains of walling in the Green Crag Settlement on your left.  This flat stone is amidst the heather in and amongst the enclosure (hence the name).  If you walk back and forth hereabouts for a short period, checking for flat stones amidst the heather about 20 yards off the path, you’ll find it!

Archaeology & History

Top-left section of CR-288 - note the carved line 'enclosing' the cups which aint on the archaeo-drawings
Top-left section of CR-288

This is another one of those carvings which had been seen by a number of people, bimbling about across this part of the moor, before it saw the literary light of day in Hedges Carved Rocks book (1986).  It’s a nicely-preserved design, usually covered over by much heather growth, but is worth the exploration if you like your cup&rings.  The drawing of this stone however (in both Hedges and Boughey & Vickerman) does not convey the actuality of the carving, as we can see here.  But that’s the case with many cup-and-rings: linear precision and the artisty of the carving are two very different things.  As we can see here, one section of the stone has a defined ‘enclosure’ of cups etched upon the rock surface: something that is clearly missed in the archaeologist’s drawing.  Check it out y’self and see what you think!


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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian