Shooting House East, Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Hut Circles:  OS Grid Reference – SE 17401 50967

Getting Here

Askwith Moor hut circle (1)

Along the only road that crosses Askwith Moor, park up at the single carpark on the east-side of the road.  Walk up the road for 350 yards and through the gate on the left-hand (west) side of the road onto the moorland.  Once through the gate, walk directly west into the heather immediately below the path for some 25-30 yards.  Look around!

Archaeology & History

Rediscovered by Helen Summerton in May 2022 are at least two simple hut circles on this level piece of land close to the roadside, amidst this much wider and impressive prehistoric landscape.

The small ring of stones (SE 17430 50978) closest to the road is slightly more troublesome to make out due to it being more deeply embedded in the peat than its companion about 30 yards away.  Comprising of typically small rubble walling, this first circle is only 4 yards across and would certainly have been fine for one person or, at a push, perhaps a small family.

Askwith Moor hut circle (2)
Askwith Moor hut circle (2)

Its companion immediately west (SE 17401 50953) is somewhat larger and slightly more elongated in shape, being 10 yards along and 5-6 yards across, as well as being in a better state of preservation.  This larger hut circle has been raised on a notable artificial earth-and-rubble plinth, being one or two feet higher than the surrounding peatland.  A notable internal stretch of walling only a yard or two in length exists within the southeastern side of the construction, whose nature can only be discerned upon excavation: an issue we can say applies to the many prehistoric settlements and tombs across this small moorland.  It’s very likely that other settlement remains will be found close to these two hut circles.

The remains of another hut circle can be found closer to Shooting House Hill, several hundred yards away; whilst five hundred yards southwest we find a small but impressive cairnfield.  There are also a good number of petroglyphs close by and on much of the surrounding landscape.

Acknowledgments:  Huge thanks to Helen Summerton (not Winterton) for finding these ‘ere remains – and for the photos accompanying this site profile.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Cowling’s Enclosure, Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Enclosure:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1793 5127

Getting Here

Danny, James & Paul on the NE corner, for scale

Coming up from Otley, make your way up to the Askwith Moor road (the only one that goes across the moors) and park up on the rough parking spot on the right-side (east) of the road.  You can’t really miss it.  From here walk up the road for less than 500 yards until your reach the rickety gate and the path onto the moors.  From here I walked 600 yards east, thru the heather until I reached the wall (close to the Tree of Life Stone) and then followed the wall up for 150 yards, then back up (west) onto the moor again and, about 50 yards along at the foot of the slope, keep your eyes peeled for the earthworky undulations beneath your tiny feet!

Archaeology & History

Just below the scattered Snowden Moor settlement we find this curious large structure, first described 75 years ago by the northern antiquarian Eric T. Cowling (1946). Since then, apart from a cursory overview, archaeologists haven’t really paid it much attention.

Eastern ditch, looking N
Eastern ditch, looking S

It’s a large site – and one which Cowling thought was constructed in the Iron Age.  He may have been right, but there’s such a profusion of ancient sites on this small moorland area—dating from Neolithic times onwards—that it could be earlier than he thought.  It’s an odd site too!  Unlike the prehistoric D-shaped enclosure and settlement on the top of the slope less than 100 yards away, and an equivalent D-shaped enclosure to the south, the area inside Cowling’s enclosure ostensibly is on quite sloping ground, with barely a flat level area anywhere inside it.  As a result of this, we can safely conclude that it wasn’t where people lived; and the complete lack of any inner hut circles (which you’d expect in a standard enclosure of this size) encourages this view.  It’s a bit of a puzzle!  Cowling opted for the idea that it was built to enclose cattle – which may be right; but again, even this must be questioned, as there is ample space on more level ground where this could have been done.  His description of the site is as follows:

“The most prominent feature (on these moors) is a D-shaped enclosure which covers the nose of the spur; the area is eighty feet from north to south and seventy feet from east to west. The enclosing bank is of piled boulders, three feet high and eight feet wide.   Cuttings across the north side revealed no evidence of dry walling, but rather a bank to carry a heavy stockade.  A shallow trench runs inside the bank, which is doubled where it is overlooked by higher ground at the northeast corner.  A second outer bank at the eastern side has an outer trench. Along the ridge to the east are circles of varying size, probably a hut group.  A larger circle (?) of heavy material, some thirty feet in diameter, is isolated on the shelf above Snowden Crags to the west.  Strips of wall and remains of enclosures of circular shape abound.”

Cowling’s plan of the site
Northern bank, looking E

Cowling’s initial measurements of the site underestimated its real size, as the bank and ditch that runs roughly north-south is close to 52 yards—nearly twice as long!  The same was found along its east-west size: being 56 yards, which is more than twice what Cowling measured.  Altogether, the enclosure measures approximately 225 yards around its outer edges.  In fairness, Cowling’s error was probably due to it being covered in vegetation when he came to do his measurements here.  …So, if you’re gonna check this place out, make sure you do it in the winter or early spring months, before the bracken encroaches.

There’s a real abundance of prehistoric sites all over this part of the moor, from more settlement remains, cairns, ring cairns and petroglyphs.  Make a day out of it.

References:

  1. Cowling, Eric T., Rombald’s Way, William Walker: Otley 1946.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Summer Stone, Blubberhouse Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 15564 54039

Getting Here

Cupmark stone, looking W

It’s probably easiest to start from the Green Plain settlement, from here crossing the Sun Bank Gill stream and walking east through the scattered heather and grasslands for 450 yards to the right-angled edge of the woodland.  Keep walking eastwards alongside the woods for about another 250 yards, then walk into the grasslands north for about 140 yards or so.  Zigzag about – you’re damn close!

Archaeology & History

Only for the purists amongst you.  This is a simple small triangular stone, with a single notable cup-mark near the middle.  It would seem to be in isolation as we could find no others in the immediate vicinity.  An early marker no doubt.

Acknowledgements:  With thanks to Helen Summerton, who helped with location on this fine day.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian 

Longbarrow Field, Timble, North Yorkshire

Cairn (lost):  OS Grid Reference — SE 18 53

Archaeology & History

Described in the Field Lore of Timble village by William Grainge (1895) are the names and short histories of some of the local place-names—with this in particular standing out like a veritable sore thumb!  Quite plainly, as Grainge told us,

“The name ‘Longbarrows’ is indicative of some burial mounds of a very early day.  None exist at present.  The land is under the plough, and is about the best in the township.”

But I cannot locate the position of this long-lost site and it’s not shown on any of the early OS-maps hereby.  Grainge said that the land on which it once stood was owned by a local farmer called Charles Dickinson, who leased it out to others.  He wrote:

“Dickinson had in Longbarrows 3 roods* and 23 perches*, and William Jackson’s share in Longbarrows was 1 acre, 3 roods and 21 perches.  Besides these, John Ward of Nether Timble had 1 rood and 17 perches int he same field, a long narrow slip without fence, between Dickinson’s and Jackson’s lots.”

Does anyone know where this was?  One of my suspects is the gathering place of the Fewston witches, a half-mile south of the village; but no remains of anything can be found there today and I may just be barking up the wrong tree.

The area south and west of here is rich in little-known prehistoric heritage, from the cairn-fields of Askwith Moor, the cairn circle at Snowden Crags, the settlements of Snowden Carr and the extensive petroglyphs all over the place!  Giants cairns of the early Bronze Age and neolithic period were also once more numerous upon the moors to the west and south, so the former existence of a long barrow in Timble is not unusual.  But where was it?!

References:

  1. Grainge, William, The History and Topography of the Townships of Little Timble, Great Timble and the Hamlet of Snowden, William Walker: Otley 1895.

*  A rood is an English unit of area, equal to a quarter of an acre or 10,890 square feet; a perch was a more variable unit of measure, being lengths of 1612, 18, 21, 24 and 25 square feet.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian 


Sunrise Stone (605), Snowden Crags, Askwith, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 18066 51251

Also Known as:

  1. Carving 605
  2. Northern Earth Mysteries Stone

Getting Here

Sunrise Stone, Snowden Carr

Sunrise Stone, Snowden Carr

Take the same directions as if you’re going to visit the Naked Jogger Carving (stone 612), not far from the well-known Tree of Life Stone.  From the Naked Jogger carving, walk up the small outcrop of rocks that bends above you.  Barely 100 yards up when you reach the top, you’ll notice a single large sloping stone barely 50 yards ahead of you in the same field.  That’s the spot!

Archaeology & History

This is a little-known beauty of a carving just off the edge of the quiet moors that are littered with prehistoric remains.  It was only rediscovered a few years ago — by myself if you believe the writings of rock art student Keith Boughey (2010) in his essay (scattered with mistakes) on the validity of amateurs exploring petroglyphs.  But I’d never even visited this carving until two years ago!  The stone was in fact found during a field-walk by early members of the Northern Earth Mysteries group in August 1989 (Wilson 1990) and subsequently described and illustrated for the first time by Phil Reeder (1990).

Close-up of main cluster

Close-up of main cluster

As can be seen in the photos accompanying this site profile, the rock on which the carving has been done has, at some point in the past, been cut into and its edges have been hacked away and destroyed, literally cutting into the overall design.  We have no idea what the original size of the stone was, obviously, but this petroglyph was once larger than the design that we see at present.  Such is the price of ‘progress’, as some folk call it.

Anyway – a few months after the carving was rediscovered, Phil Reeder (1990) wrote:

“After a visit to the Tree of Life stone…a cursory inspection by the NEM Group was made on nearby rock outcrops, part of which showed evidence of recent exposure due to soil erosion.

“One stone in particular stood out as five shallow cups and associated rings could be discerned.  When cleaned, it became apparent that further carvings extended beneath a thin eroding soil layer.  When this layer was cleared, a complex set of carvings were revealed.

“Only preliminary work at the site has been carried out to date, but it appears that the carvings comprise of at least 28 cups, 13 of which have associated rings; several of the cups are linked by gutters forming an intricate design, one gutter part enclosing 11 cups.  The carvings on the lower edge of the stone have weathered badly and are difficult to interpret.”

Reeder’s amateur description is a good one. Certainly more accurate than the subsequent one by Boughey & Vickerman (2003):

“Large rock of coarse grit whose surface slopes with the hill. About forty cups, some large, many with single rings, and many curving grooves, the whole forming a remarkable, complex design.”

Phil Reeder's 1990 drawing

Phil Reeder’s 1990 drawing

Boughey & Vickerman's sketch

Boughey & Vickerman’s sketch

We can see in the respective drawings by both Reeder (left) and Boughey & Vickerman (right) that some elements which should have been included in the ‘official’ drawing were missed, yet had been accurately included in the earlier ‘preliminary’ drawing, as Mr Reeder put it.  I hope that readers will forgive me pointing out these seemingly minor elements; but I do it to illustrate the ineffectiveness of more recent rock art students who are gaining the title of ‘experts’ in this field.  It’s important to recognise that, in this field of study, “experts” are few and far between indeed… I’ve certainly yet to meet any!

Northern end of carving

Northern end of carving

Southern side of carving

Southern side of carving

The carving is mentioned briefly in Beckensall’s (1999) introductory study, with little comment.  But of note here is not only the curious linear feature running between two cup-and-rings, but the position of the stone in the landscape.  For if you sit either upon or next to this carving, you are looking east straight across the gorgeous Fewston valley directly at the prominent wooded hill of Sword Point.  As it slopes down into the present-day greenery of fields and scattered woods, the Wharfe Valley spreads out to the distant east and, as the sun rises and scatters its rays onto the wet morning stone here, the design on the rock awakens with much greater visual lucidity than that which our daytime eyes bestow to us.  In all likelihood, sunrise was an important element in whatever mythic function underscored this curious carving, with its human-like figure rising on its southern side, emerging from the edge of the rock, personifying perhaps the rising solar disc and the living landscape as the daylight breath awoke Earth’s creatures; or maybe it signifies a symbolic group of people gathered together watching the sunrise…

Of course, I’m dreaming…

References:

  1. Barnett, T. & Sharpe, K. (eds.), Carving a Future for British Rock Art, Oxbow: Oxford 2010.
  2. Beckensall, Stan, British Prehistoric Rock Art, Tempus: Stroud 1999.
  3. Boughey, Keith, “The Role of the Amateur in the Study of UK Prehistoric Cup-and-Ring Art,” in Barnett & Sharpe, Oxford 2010.
  4. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  5. Chappell, Graeme, “North Yorkshire Rock Art – New Discoveries,” in Northern Earth, no.62, 1995.
  6. Michell, John, The Earth Spirit, Thames & Hudson: London 1975.
  7. Reeder, Phil, “Snowden Carr Rock Carvings,” in Northern Earth Mysteries, no.40, 1990.
  8. Wilson, Rob, “Pateley Bridge Gathering,” in Northern Earth Mysteries, 40, 1990.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian


Snowden Carr carving (610), Askwith, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 18105 51210

Getting Here

Snowden Carr carving 610

From Otley, take the road north across the River Wharfe up and up, heading towards Askwith Moor.  As the moorland opens up ahead of you, at the crossroads turn right along Snowden Carr Road and literally ¾-mile along (1.25km) where a track on your right goes to Carr Farm, on the left-side of the road is a gate.  Go through here to the Naked Jogger Stone and walk up the rocky ridge ahead of you, alongside the walling (as if you’re going to the Sunrise Stone), and about 20-30 yards up you’ll reach this carving.

Archaeology & History

Best visited on a clear day, this is one carving amidst a small cluster of cup-marked petroglyphs found along the small geological ridge between the Sunrise Stone and Naked Jogger carving (none of which are as impressive as those two!).  This particular design consists of a number of faint cup-marks— between 17 and 25 of them—reaching along the horizontal surface, with no distinct formal pattern, as usual.  The carving continues beneath the encroaching soil.

Looking down at the carving
Archaeo-sketch

It seems to have been described for the first time by Stuart Feather (1973); then subsequently in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey, in which they attach a single cup-marking on an adjacent rock into the matrix of this design—but the two rock surfaces are distinctly separate.  This apart, their description tells, briefly as always: “Large long rock which may be outcrop, with hill falling away steeply below. Seventeen worn cups.”

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Leeds 2003.
  2. Feather, Stuart, “Askwith, W.Yorkshire,” in ‘Yorkshire Archaeological Register’, Yorkshire Archaeology Journal, volume 45, 1973.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian 


James Stone, Blubberhouses Moor, North Yorkshire

Standing Stone: OS Grid reference – SE 15196 54722

Getting Here

James Stone, looking SW

From Blubberhouses church by the crossroads, walk up the slope (south) as if you’re going to Askwith, for 100 yards or so, taking the track and footpath past the Manor House and onto the moor.  Once you hit the moorland proper, take the footpath that bears left going down into heather and keep going till you hit the dead straight Roman Road path running west onto Blubberhouses Moor. Carry along the Roman Road for about 200 yards as though you are going towards the Eagle Stone, and looking right (if you squint) you can just make out a small pimple on the top of the moors about a quarter of a mile away. That is where you are heading (be warned – it is boggy getting there).

Archaeology and History

James Stone, looking NE

Discovered (or rather ‘noticed’) by James Turner and James Elkington in July 2016 (hence the name James Stone), this standing stone is of an indeterminable age – although it does look ancient.  Standing more than 5 feet tall, and in the middle of nowhere, it is fairly difficult to get to unless you want to get wet feet.  It is situated very close to a small and unexcavated prehistoric settlement and we could find no physical evidence of any tracks nearby (although Google Earth does show what looks like one or two very short, faint tracks near the stone, which is the old ‘Benty Gate’ track).

It could be a boundary stone, although doubtful – it has a feel to it that says it is prehistoric, although this is just guesswork on our part.  I can find no reference to it in Cowlings Rombalds Way (1946) and there seems nothing about it in either of William Grainge’s (1871; 1895) detailed history works of the region.

Mr Turner gazing at the stone

At first we thought it unlikely to be a new find, however the stone is difficult to see from the Roman Road (I had been up here dozens of times before I noticed it) and seeing that people rarely go up here anyway, and it is relatively difficult terrain getting to it, it is not surprising that no one has bothered visiting it. It would take someone who is quite keen on megaliths to want to examine it and it is well off any tracks.

Having said that, it is a nice find and it could be linked in some way with the small unexcavated settlement nearby, or possibly the large Green Plain settlement nearly a mile away.  Well worth a visit…bring your wellies!

References:

  1. Cowling, Eric T., Rombald’s Way, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  2. Grainge, William, The History and Topography of Harrogate and the Forest of Knaresborough, John Russell Smith: London 1871.
  3. Grainge, William, The History and Topography of the Townships of Little Timble, Great Timble and the Hamlet of Snowden, William Walker: Otley 1895.

© James Elkington, The Northern Antiquarian


Snowden Carr Carving (569), Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 17746 50923

Getting Here

Inma’s Drawing of the Carving

Takes a bitta finding unless you’ve got a GPS system, or someone like me to show you where it is! The best way’s probably via the Askwith Moor Road car park, up the road 160 yards till you hit the straight line cut into the moor on your right, where the landscape’s been damaged.*  Walk along this for less than 100 yards, then walk right, through the heather and onto the singular tree roughly 200 yards away.  From here, walk 75 yards (strides) north from the tree.  You’re damn close!

Archaeology & History

About 20 feet from a line of ancient walling in an area pretty rich in prehistoric sites, is this medium-sized stone with a lovely cup-and-ring design.  The carving was first recorded by fellow antiquarian, Eric Cowling (1937), in his short survey of other carved stones in the area.  He called this ‘carving no.7’ and described it, thus:

“In the central area of Snowden Carr is a barrow group, which occupies a slight ridge running from the edge of the bog to the east, almost to the moor road on the west.  The ridge is almost devoid of vegetation except at the higher end.  Here, on a heather-covered boulder, is marking no.7.  The cups are smaller than usual, and only one ring completely surrounds a cup.  The lines linking the cups are only lightly incised, and the whole marking has a delicate appearance.”

Old photo of the carving
Cowling’s 1937 drawing

I first visited this stone in the 1980s with fellow rock art student and author, Graeme Chappell, and for some reason it has always impressed me (I recall Graeme laughing whilst I made joyous noises and stroked the rock, reverentially!).  Cowling’s description of the stone as ‘delicate’ is appealing, as the stone and its design has a nurturing aspect to it, female in nature. (forgive me — but many of these stones tend to capture me in such ways!)  The stone was described more clinically in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) more recent survey as follows:

“Fairly large, flat, smooth grit rock with crack.  Up to seventeen possible cups, one with complete ring, one with partial ring, one with possible ring; connecting groove.”

Doesn’t quite capture the feel of the place, which I’m sure they’d admit.  The next time I’m up here, I’ll get some better photos of the carving.

References:

  1. Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
  2. Cowling, E.T., ‘A Classification of West Yorkshire Cup and Ring Stones,’ in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 1940.
  3. Cowling, E.T., Rombald’s Way: A Prehistory of Mid-Wharfedale, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  4. Cowling, E.T. & Hartley, C.A., ‘Cup and Ring Markings to the North of Otley,’ in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 33, 1937.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Huge thanks to one of my fine ladies, Inmaculada Ibanez-Sanchez, for the drawing! Cheers Inma!

* A pipeline was laid across the moor here, and subsequent work (I presume by the same company) was done again in early 2011, cutting through and damaging several prehistoric monuments and destroying at least one prehistoric cairn.  An archaeological survey of the region should have been done before any work proceeded here, but I’m unaware of any such excavations, or archaeological reports preceding or concurrent to the ecological and historical damage performed.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian


Snowden Carr Carving (603), Askwith Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 17993 51112

Getting Here

Snowden Carr carving 603

From Askwith village go up the Moor Lane and at the crossroads go straight across (Snowden Moor is across left).  Go down and along Snowden Carr Road until the road levels out and, watch carefully, about 500 yards on from the crossroads on your left you’ll see a small crag of rocks in the fields above.  Stop and go through the gate walking up the field and as you near the top you’ll see a gate across to your left that leads onto the moor.  Go through this and on the path which veers up to the right up to the Tree of Life Stone.  About 20 yards along, keep your eyes peeled just off-path, to the left, where a small rounded stone hides at the edge.

Archaeology & History

This was one of a number of cup-markings that Graeme Chappell and I came across in the early 1990s, though it didn’t receive any literary attention until included in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey.  It’s only a small fella, consisting of just six or seven cups on its upper rounded surface — though what may be a carved line runs round the southern side of the stone.  It seems to have been associated with a small cairn close by (a common feature on these moors) and adjacent prehistoric settlement walling.  In Boughey & Vickerman’s text, they gave the following notes:

“Small rock with rounded surface at ground level, near scattered cairn. Seven or eight cups, possible grooves at edge.”

Drawing of the stone (Boughey & Vickerman)

[You’ll notice in the photo above that the local phantom painter had been here again, artistically highlighting the cup-marks.  The photos we took were done earlier this year, when the paint (or whatever it is) was first noted.  It had not been painted-in the previous autumn.  But most notably is the fact that this carved stone has never previously appeared on the internet (until today) and the only other reference to it is in the standard Boughey & Vickerman text.  This would indicate that whoever it is that’s painting the carvings up and down mid-Wharfedale possesses a copy of that text, aswell as being relatively new to the subject of rock art.]

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian


Green Plain, Blubberhouses Moor, North Yorkshire

Settlement:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1492 5378

Getting Here

Cowling’s 1946 ground-plan of a portion of the settlement

From Blubberhouses church by the crossroads, walk up the slope (south) as if you’re going to Askwith, for 100 yards or so, taking the track and footpath past the Manor House and onto the moor.  Once you hit the moorland proper, take the footpath that bears left going down into heather and keep going till you hit the dead straight Roman Road path running west onto Blubberhouses Moor.  Go on here for nearly a mile until you hit the valley stream with its Eagle Stone down on your left.  Walk downstream, past the Eagle Stone, and cross over 100 yards down until you’re back on the level ground with the scatter of bracken and heather.  You’re here!

Archaeology & History

On the other side of the stream a short distance southeast of the large cup-marked Eagle Stone is a curious site, first described by Eric Cowling (1946) as “a series of enclosures of varying size and roughly circular shape” which he ascribed as a Bronze Age settlement.  Certainly we have a rather extensive scattered group of walled structures just as he described, but not all of the walling here seems typical of local Bronze Age constructions.  Cowling suggested the remains to be “useful for protection, herding and for shelter,” though admitted archaeological excavation would be the best way to ascertain their specific nature.  Such undertakings have yet to be done — and I wouldn’t hold your breath either.

Large section of walling
Walls of large circular structure

Although he described some of the walls here as nearly four-feet tall, when Graeme Chappell and I first ventured here in the winter of 1990, the walling wasn’t quite as high.  There are a number of individual tall stones sat in the walls that stand three-feet tall, with some that have been cut and dressed in more historic times.  Who did this and when is unknown.  However, if we visited this place when all the vegetation has been cut and burnt back at the end of winter and early months of Spring — a fact not lost on Cowling when he first found this place — we would gain a much clearer picture of things here.

Some sections of lower walling above the streamside appear to be prehistoric in nature, but many other parts of the walled structures across this flatland plain have a much later look and feel about them, illustrating that the site may have been used well into post-medieval periods.  This seems increasingly obvious where we find a number of the stones cut at sharp angles, with some having distinctive quarried grooves in them.  However, I can find no historical records to verify this at present.

Hut circle remains
Medieval cut upright stone?

If we walk up the slight slope westwards however (before bracken and heath grow) there are more distinct prehistoric remains in the form of typical hut circles with low walls emerging from deep peatlands — although even these have been cut in one or two places by metal tools.  My view of this little-known but large settlement arena is that we’re looking at a site initially built in the Bronze Age period, continuing to be used by local tribespeople throughout the Iron Age and, as the cut stones clearly show, was a village that was certainly made use of in the last millenium.  But until someone comes along here and gives the site the attention it deserves, we’re not gonna know…

On the southern fringe of the copious walled structures we also find a very curious medicinal chalybeate spring that may have been of some importance to those who once lived hereby.  A ‘standing stone’ and prehistoric cairn can also be seen close by.

References:

  1. Cowling, E.T., Rombald’s Way: A Prehistory of Mid-Wharfedale, William Walker: Otley 1946.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian