Holy Well, Watnall, Nottinghamshire

Holy Well (SK 499 456)

How to get there

A stone’s throw from Ikea and found off the B600 Main road travelling to Greasley from Watnall, take first turning on the left after Royal Oak Wood. Travel up Trough Road, pass woods where it is best to park, walk up i Trough Lane and the well can be found on the right hand side opposite a house called The Springs.

Watnall Holy Well (9)


A plaque near the well’s entrance has a local piece of folklore recorded. This relates that a local boy who lived opposite was very ill and bedridden. A local priest called for water to be drawn for the boy from the well. This was done and the boy became well.

Interestingly, it’s the only legend of its nature, one which records a cure, in all the Nottinghamshire holy wells. It is a shame one cannot find a date or check its provenance, a fact supported by local history author Mr. John Lee. The use of priest is significant does the story may indicate the Catholic revival in holy wells in the 19th century? However, the only Catholic associations locally are that of Hilltop at Greasley for there was, and is, only a Methodist chapel in Watnall.

Watnall Holy Well (6)History

I am of the opinion that it is a romanticism of the 1800s, but there is a possible record in the ‘The Manor of Bevall in the County of Nottingham’ document, commissioned by the Honourable Dame Elizabeth Capell in 1653. Amongst the records it appears a number of times as:

‘Holy Well Furlong 2 lands bounded with John Richards west and William Hickton east’.

A 1724 Capps Survey of Watnall Cantelupe notes that Joseph Richards had some lands lying in a close called the Flatts or Holliwell understandably took its name from Holy Well.  There is also note of a holwell croft field name in the 1500s at Greasley which again may describe this site or another and such suggests that it derives from O.E hol meaning ‘hollow’ a common misconception when identifying prospective holy wells. Jeremy Harte (2008) in his English Holy Wells suggests that those holy wells called Holy Well are pre-Medieval in origin so perhaps this site is one of the most ancient in the county.

Watnall Holy Well (26)Watnall Holy Well (12)

I was told on my first visit there by an elderly man that he was baptised there (or water used from it used for his baptism) before attempting to inexplicably trying to discourage me from finding it (due to his wariness of me I failed to discover the nature of his baptism or of what denomination). According to locals in the lane the plaque and present state of the well dates from the 1980s and was done in partnership with the local council.

The house opposite is called ‘The Springs’ was this name of the well before the ‘present’ name and so it is ‘modern’ holy well per se, although I think the 18th century survey is significant.

The well itself, is enclosed in a stone recess with a rusty iron gate with a dove affixed on it bearing the legend Holy Well. It is approached by a path walled along both sides which are adorned by a wide range of gnomes and garden ornaments..almost so you could be pixy led!!

Extracted from Parish, R.B (2008) Holy Wells and healing springs of Nottinghamshire

Interested in holy wells and healing springs


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Nanny Well, Chapel le Frith

Holy Well SK 061 810

Getting there

To find Nanny’s Well, take B5474 out of Chapel and take the right hand turning called Crossings road (which goes to Chinley) which is before Frith view on the left. Continue until the small wall surrounding the site can be seen on the right.


It was visited on Easter Morning, with sugar or licorice to make Spanish Water, and then the bottles were hung around their necks. The site is one of four wells dressed annually since the 1980s in July and the site is blessed.



The name it is said to be either from from St Ninian (less likely) or St Anne (more likely as she is also considered the mother of Mary and thus Grandmother of Jesus). It is described in M.J.B Baddeley’s The Peak district of Derbyshire (1913) and the neighbourhood as:

“a valuable but neglected spring of chalybeate water.”

Yet in 1895, a Manchester firm of Grace, Calvert and Thompson  analysed it and found it:

“not polluted to any extent with organic matter of animal or vegetable origin and comes from a spring of considerable depth and that no surface water has become mixed with it’…in same respects the water of this well is of the same nature as that from the Tunbridge Wells springs.”
The site is now an iron pump by the side of Crossings Road, known as Nanny Well Road, enclosed in a low wall along which. The pump no longer works and the well capped but it can be heard and just about seen through a crack beneath.

Extracted from Parish, R. B., (2008) Holy Wells and Healing springs of Derbyshire


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Mask Stone, Port of Menteith, Perthshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NN 56107 01712

Getting Here

Mask Stone, Port of Menteith

Mask Stone, Port of Menteith

Take the same directions to locate the cup-and-ring stone of Ballochraggan 12.  There are several rocks adjacent.  The one immediately next to it, to the west, is the one you’re looking for.  Be gentle and careful if you’re gonna look at it — deadly serious, be very careful indeed!

Archaeology & History

One of the most intriguing and most fascinating of all the prehistoric carvings I’ve yet to discover.  Not that this was all my own work. If it hadn’t been for Paul Hornby, we might have simply walked past it as being little more than a single cup-marked stone—and in this area, single cup-marks tend to be little more than geological in nature.

After we’d looked over several of the registered carvings close by, Paul took to looking at this one.

“Looks like we’ve got just a single cup-mark on this one Paul,” I said, “with possible half-ring.”  Thankfully Mr Hornby gave it his better attention.

Mask Stone, with faint 'urn'

Mask Stone, with faint ‘urn’

Close-up of features

Close-up of features

The sun was still out and shining across the smooth rock surface, which tends to mean that you’re not seeing any carving on the stone quite as good as it actually is.  Thankfully however, the sun was beginning to get lower and, when this happens, if we wet the rock, any carvings that might be there stand out much better.  And this little fella just seemed to get better and more curious the more attention Paul gave it!

The first thing that became obvious were a series of faint carved lines above the single cup-mark.  Initially these didn’t seem to merit much attention (straight lines on rock are usually more the product of geophysical action than that of humans), but as the rock got wetter, Paul saw something very distinct indeed.

“There’s a face on it!” he exclaimed.  And indeed there was.  A Rorschach response no doubt, but it was still very much like a face.  This looked for all the world akin to the stylised olde English gentry sort of countenance, as in old cartoons.  It was quite ‘distinct’, as such characters themselves insist on being!  Yet around this initial face, more lines seemed to be emerging as the stone gave up more and more of its hidden story.

Standing back from an initial investigation, the carving was seen to consist of a triple-ring, but without the traditional ‘cup’ in its centre.  Instead, the centre was marked simply by a small ‘dot’—perhaps, originally, being a small conglomerate hole formed as a result of another tiny harder fragment of stone falling away from its larger mass.  But a ‘dot’ it was.  The other carved ‘lines’ however, immediately below and attached to the triple-ring, gave us something almost unique—and another strong Rorschach response.  As the photos clearly show, we have a distinct second ‘face’ made up of the same lines but in a quite different form.  This ‘face’ has all the attributes we usually associate with pictures of mythical spirits, demons, or a mask—hence the name!

Paul took a series of fine photos, hoping that he could catch the image that our eyes could clearly see.  And thankfully, his digital camera brought the image to life even better than our eyes did!  The ‘mask’ is comprised of carved lozenge forms, akin to the more decorative ones we find at Kilmartin, and more especially around Newgrange, Ireland.  We sat and talked about this: wondering and working out routes that we’d take over mountains and moors, from Ireland, to Kilmartin, then onto Ballochraggan, etching the same designs onto the rocks hereby and attaching similar mythic notions to them: of shamanism and kingship; underworlds and journeys—paradigms lost and certainly misunderstood in the non-polysemia of many modern academics.

Lozenges and rings

Lozenges and rings

…The stone here was still slightly covered over and, beneath the loose grasses, another feature emerged of another petroglyphic rarity.  At the topmost western side of the  rock a straight line ran across the surface, seemingly marked by the hand of man, with a curious little line almost doubling back on itself for just an inch or so, and then feeling to run down the stone, towards the concentric rings and the face below.  When we stood back and took the photos, this line and its tracer took on a form that I’ve only seen echoed in one of the Netherlargie tombs at Kilmartin, Argyll, 44.4 miles (73km) to the west.  It is very distinct.

Mask Stone04

The beaker, rings & ‘face’

Spuriously ascribed as being ‘axe’ carvings (oh how archaeologists love this Rorschach projection), the Netherlargie North tomb cover-stone in Kilmartin has a series of burial ‘urns’ or beakers carved onto the rock, amidst a scattered collection of cup markings. (Beckensall 2005:73-4; Bradley 1983:92-3; Royal Commission 1971:68-70; Twohig 1972, etc)  Here too at Ballochraggan we find another such symbol, but just a singular example, much larger and more clearly a beaker or urn, as are traditionally found within many old neolithic and Bronze Age tombs; although no tomb is immediately apparent at this Ballochraggan carving.

The entire carving is very faint indeed (you can’t even be seen when you’re looking directly at it unless conditions are good) showing that it remained open to the elements for thousands of years.  Other adjacent carvings lack the erosion that we find on this one, even on those which, as archaeologist Lisa Samson said, is “softer sandstone rock than this one”—implying that it’s one of the older carvings in this incredible cluster.

The carving was covered over when we finished examining it, to ensure that Nature’s erosion keeps it alive for just a few more centuries at least, hopefully…..


  1. Beckensall, Stan, The Prehistoric Rock Art of Kilmartin, Kilmartin Trust: Kilmartin 2005.
  2. Bradley, Richard, Altering the Earth, Society of Antiquaries Scotland: Edinburgh 1993.
  3. Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Argyll – volume 6: Mid-Argyll and Cowal, HMSO: Edinburgh 1971.
  4. Twohig, Elizabeth Shee, The Megalithic Art of Western Europe, Clarendon: Oxford 1981.

AcknowledegmentsHuge thanks again to Mr Paul Hornby for his considerable help with this site, and for use of his photos.

 © Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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Ballochraggan 05, Port of Menteith, Perthshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NN 56044 01549

The Ballochraggan 5 stone

The Ballochraggan 5 stone

Also Known as:

  1. Ballochraggan 42 (Brouwer)
  2. Canmore ID 78355
  3. Menteith 5 (van Hoek)

Getting Here

Take the same directions as if you’re visiting the Ballochraggan 12 carving, or nearby standing stone.  Literally 10 yards above the leaning monolith, you’ll see what looks like a glacial rock drop ahead of you (though it’s actually volcanic).  That’s the stone you want!

Archaeology & HIstory

A site that was first described in Maarten von Hoek’s (1989) survey of the area, where he told this carving to be “a loose boulder (that) bears 14 cups, some possibly natural.”  There is very little doubt about it—many of the ‘cups’ on this stone are indeed natural, caused directly by the erosion and subsequent falling of conglomerate rock nodules coming away from the larger rock mass, leaving holes in it that look like cup-marks, but are blatantly natural in origin.

Close-up of the cups - natural or man-made?

Close-up of the cups – natural or man-made?

When Paul Hornby and I visited the site on August 28, 2014, we looked briefly at the stone and then walked on by—but we took some photos, “just in case the archaeo’s have this listed as a monument, ” I said.  And they do!  Several of the ‘cups’ shown in the images here might be man-made.  Might….  It’s difficult to say for sure (are there any geologists in the house?)  Of course, if the faint half-ring below one of these large ‘cups’ turns out to be legitimate, we’ve got a definite here.  But even that looks a bit dodgy!

Despite these marks possibly being geophysical, we must not forget, nor rule out, that this rock had some importance to the neolithic or Bronze Age people who frequented this region, often.  Natural marks on rock would be emulated by humans sometimes, or seen as elements of spirit in the stone itself—as found all over the world.  A standing stone is only yards away, and we have highly impressive multiple cup-and-ring stones very close by.  The natural ‘cups’ on this and other adjacent rocks may have catalysed the petroglyphs themselves.

Check it out when you visit the other, much more impressive multiple-ringed carvings hereby; but also watch out for the many conglomerate rocks still scattering this hill—some with the softer rounded nodules of rock fallen, leaving cups, and others still in place in quite a few of the stones, awaiting their own geological timing to leave more cup-marks ready for some folk to misread. (I did it misself in younger years!)


  1. Brouwer, Jan & van Veen, Gus, Rock Art in the Menteith Hills, BRAC 2009.
  2. van Hoek, M.A.M.,”Prehistoric Rock Art of Menteith, Central Scotland,” in Forth Naturalist & Historian, volume 15, 1992.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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Nether Glenny 02, Port of Menteith, Perthshire

Cairn:  OS Grid Reference – NN 5644 0202

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 87382

Getting Here

Nether Glenny 2 tomb, looking east

Nether Glenny 2 tomb, looking east

Follow the same directions as if you’re visiting the nearby Nether Glenny 1 cairn; but look into the field immediately north (through the gate on the other side of the fence) about 100 yards away and you’ll see the telling bump rising out of the grasses.

Archaeology & History

Another burial mound of roughly the same size and form as its companion 100 yards to the south, but this one appears to be more intact than its close neighbour.  The top centre of the overgrown cairn seems to have been robbed sometime in the past—perhaps for use in the nearby walling; perhaps by treasure-seekers. We will probably never really know.

Nether Glenny 2 & its close neighbour

Nether Glenny 2 & its close neighbour

Although much overgrown in grasses (with species of shamanic fungi surrounding), the roughly circular tomb is between 3-4 feet high, roughly flat-topped, and measures 12 yards north-south, by 15 yards east-west.  There is no immediate evidence of the internal tomb and it has yet to be satisfactorily excavated.  A small outcrop of stones about 30 yards to the north possesses a highly impressive detailed multi-ringed neolithic petroglyph.


  1. Bailey, G.B., ‘Nether Glenny (Port of Menteith parish)’, in Discovery & Excavation Scotland, 1987.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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Ballochraggan, Port of Menteith, Perthshire

Standing Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NN 5605 0154

Getting Here

Ballochraggan Stone, looking NE

Ballochraggan Stone, looking NE

Take the same directions as if you’re visiting any of the upper Ballochraggan petroglyphs, but 100 yards before the carvings, out in the open on the grasslands, below the reach of the forest, you’ll see the leaning stone if you wander about.  You can’t really miss it!

Archaeology & History

Not included in any of the Canmore, Royal Commission or Ordnance Survey records, this standing stone appears to have eluded official records until now.  Found close to the petroglyph-rich arena of the Ballochraggan complex, with attendant tombs to the east, there is the possibility that this large leaning stone was itself, once, a part of a long-gone cairn, as Paul Hornby suggested.  The small cluster of stones around its base certainly adds to that idea (similar to the incredible Dunruchan cluster, more than 17 miles (28km) northeast).

Ballochraggan Stone, looking west

Ballochraggan Stone, looking west

Looking east-ish!

Looking east-ish!

The stone leans at a considerable angle from a previously upright position.  When standing it would have been nearly five-feet tall and measures nearly as wide.  The stone is roughly triangular in shape, above ground.  What appear to be two faint cup marks on its topmost surface are very probably due to conglomerate rock erosion and not the handiwork of humans.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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Fairy Mine, Bingley Moor, West Yorkshire

unknown:  OS Grid Reference – SE 1277 4322

Getting Here

Fairy Mine, Bingley Moor

The Fairy Mine, Bingley Moor (photo by James Elkington)

This takes some locating!  Take the footpath over Ilkley Moor between Dick Hudsons and White Wells – preferably from the Dick Hudsons side.  Go up the walled path onto the moor edge, continuing until you go through the gate and the moorland proper opens up.  Go downhill and then, as you start walking uphill, about 100 yards on, walk into the deep heather on your right and head towards the jumbled rocky outcrops a few hundred yards away.  Walk around the first main ‘curve’ of large rocks and then follow the contours right at the very bottom of the stones, staying with them.  50 yards along near the bottom of the rocky masses—and you’re damn close!  Keep looking!

Archaeology & History

This is a strange one.  A really strange one…..  The site would not have even been written about had it not been for James Elkington pushing me to make its existence visible to a wide audience.  As with many sites that I’ve rediscovered, this is one of many that I never seem to write about, for various reasons…although I did do a short piece on it (Bennett 2001) many years back in a little earth mysteries mag, but kept the location quiet.  But now, James has got me to change my mind about it.  If anyone can throw any light onto what they think this site might be, feel free to let us know. With the exception of is early history, this is its story…

Close-up of the entrance (photo by James Elkington)

Close-up of the entrance (photo by James Elkington)

One weekend in the early Spring of 1977, Jon Tilleard and I made our weekly wander onto the southern edges of Rombalds Moor, doing little as usual apart from maybe seeking out the curious cup-and-ring stones and other ancient remains, along with walking through the obligatory bogs and wetlands, getting filthy and wet through as healthy kids do at that age.  After making our way to Horncliffe Well (generally our first point of call most weeks), we decided to head straight west, off-path as always, and eventually sat ourselves down for something to eat near Wicking Crags on Bingley Moor.

As we packed up again, readying ourselves to walk further onto the moor, John stood upright.  In doing so, he dislodged a stone by his feet—right where I was still sitting on the ground!

“Watch out!” he exclaimed loudly—and I quickly rolled forward to get out of the way of the impending stone.  Thankfully it wasn’t too big.  But then as I turned round to see what had happened, I saw John stood on the small rocky rise he’d been sitting upon—and right beneath his feet, the stone that he’d dislodged had been hiding a very curious secret indeed…

As the photos show, a small opening led into the Earth right underneath where Jon had been sitting.  The stone he’d accidentally kicked away had covered and sealed a previously unrecorded entrance.  Now, after however many centuries it had been closed and secret, he’d uncovered it again.  For us two fourteen-year-old lads gazing into this passageway, our imaginations started running riot!

“What the hell izzit!?”—we must have exclaimed a dozen times or more to each other!  To this day, we still don’t know.

I’m not sure how long we stayed here after we’d first found it, but before we left we made sure that the covering stone which had sealed the entrance was propped back upright, securely, so that no one else could find it.  The site was quite a way off-path, at the head of a very large boggy area where—to this day—people very rarely walk (in all my years of walking these moors, I’ve yet to see another human walking in this area).

In looking into the tunnel for the very first time, the ground on the outside was of course covered by the usual moorland vegetation; but an inch behind where the stone had sealed this tunnel, the floor was grey dust, all the way in.  There were no animal tracks, neither mice nor others, no droppings, no nothing (which we thought was rather unusual).  No plants of any form were evident.  This ‘door’ had been closed for a very long time it seemed.  …Today if you visit the site, ferns and other small plants have encroached several feet into the tunnel.

The entrance itself is about 14 inches across, and from the ground to the top covering stone the entrance is less than 12 inches high, showing quite clearly that no humans can walk in or out of it.  Which added to the puzzle: what the hell is it?  And why was it sealed with a covering stone?  But the more we looked (it became our regular port of call each time we were on the moors) the more obvious it became that a huge amount of work had gone into creating this antiquarian oddity.

As Winter came and cleared all the vegetation surrounding the site, we got an increasingly clear picture of it.  But this wasn’t before we tried to get inside!  Jon and I failed, but our torches showed that it went in for about 20-30 feet or so and then appeared to be stop, blocked by another stone.  Thankfully I had a younger brother, Phil, who was seven-year old at the time—so we took him up to have a look at the place.  We figured that only a small person could get inside the tunnel, but we didn’t tell him this (nor my parents!) until we arrived.

With torch in hand, Phil slithered into the entrance and, eventually, his little feet disappeared into the ground.  He didn’t seem too happy about it as I remember—but I was his big brother! (cruel – cruel – cruel!)  Shouting back down to us as he slithered further and further in, when he reached the blocking stone in the tunnel he exclaimed—”You can go round it!”

“What!? Really!?”

We were excited.

“Keep going Phil,” we urged.  But he wouldn’t.

“I’m scared Paul,” he said.  “I won’t be able to get back out”—or something along those lines.  And he was probably right.

But he managed to get his young tiny body slightly round the blocking stone that he’d reached and shone the torch-light down the extended tunnel.  He told that the it just kept going into the hill still further, keeping the same size and dimensions and straightness for about the same distance again—but then it started to curve very slightly, bending to the left (northwest) until it disappeared underneath the entire hillside, stretching out of sight. It seemed from his description, subsequently, that the tunnel went on for another 50 feet at least.

Once he was safely back out, he reiterated how far in it seemed to go.  We walked up the hill under which it had been built and Phil bimbled to roughly where he thought the tunnel was as he saw it with the torchlight.  Standing on the hilltop, this was obviously an extraordinary feat as there are thousands of tons of rock and earth covering it!  Curiously, years later, a dowser who visited the place walked the same route that Phil had described when he went inside it (we told the dowser nothing of Phil’s venture until afterwards).

Denuded walling leading to entrance

Denuded walling leading to entrance (photo by James Elkington)

Low walling leading to the 'Mine'

Low walling leading to the ‘Mine’ (photo by James Elkington)

When all the moorland vegetation has died back, you can clearly see how the tunnel has been built upon by a large mass of earth and rocks, some of them loose.  All round it is an extended collapse of what seems to be quarried stone tumbling down the hillside.  At the top of the hill are the remains of old walling and at least two walled structures—although they appear to be post-medieval in nature, not prehistoric.  At the entrance itself is evidence of continued walling of some form.  It seems as if a wider man-made chamber of some sort may once have stood here, right in front of the present-day entrance.  Even if this proves not to be the case, there is very clear evidence that the tunnel which goes into the hillside was once longer, as low walling continues outside away from the entrance, bending away some 50 yards to the southeast, before ending with no indication of additional structural remains.  This walled structure swerving out from the entrance is equally perplexing.

The closest prehistoric feature is an unrecorded cairn and petroglyph a few hundred yards away.  As far as I’m concerned, this tiny little entrance into the ground isn’t prehistoric.  But I’m nonetheless still very intrigued by it, not least because of a few very strange things that subsequently occurred here after we’d discovered it.

Whoever did this, went to a helluva lot of trouble and immense effort to build it.  And for what?  …Since being opened nearly 40 years ago, very few people have been to see this curious entrance into the Earth.  I’ve kept its location hidden.  But amongst the visitors has been an archaeologist, a historian, antiquarian authors, occultists and friends.  None have been able to say what this site might be.  From souterrains to mine-shafts, probably the best suggestion so far was by Mr Paul Hornby who suggested it might have been some sort of kiln, as there seems evidence of fire against one of the stones.  But there are anomalies with the site that don’t quite fit the glove of a normal kiln.  The extended collapsed ‘tunnel’ which reaches way out, past the entrance which Jon broke in the 1970s, doesn’t make sense; nor the fact that the tunnel goes way into the natural hillside.  Indeed, many things here don’t make sense, simply—I presume—because we haven’t asked the right question yet.

But one thing seems obvious: there may be something at the end of this tunnel, deep inside the hill, which someone many centuries ago, for some odd reason, wanted to keep hidden for a long long time.  What’s at the end of this tunnel?  And if it’s valuable treasure deep in there—it is NOT going to some museum which then, in later years, will be sold off cheaply to some wealthy dood when the museum runs oout of money.  It should be kept within the safe holdings of The Northern Antiquarian.  If this becomes an issue, whatever lies at the end will simply be re-buried elsewhere.

Fortean History

On that fine Spring morning when we first discovered this “mine shaft for little people” as we called it, before we went on our way, we placed the stone that Jon had dislodged that had covered the entrance back into position so that no one could see the opening leading into the ground and under the hill.  It was firm and secure when we left—we made sure of it.

The following Sunday morning we made our way back up past Horncliffe Well again and onto this little mine-shaft to sit and have summat to eat.  The rocky arena here made it difficult to locate, even though we knew where it was.  But when we eventually did find it again, the covering stone was missing.  In fact it had been rolled a good 5 yards away from the entrance.  This was odd, we thought—considering that no one even knew of its existence.  We wondered if an animal had taken up residence inside, but there were no tracks or remains consistent with this initial idea.  We puzzled about it, ate our food, and said our au revoirs.  Before we left, we repositioned the covering stone again to block the entrance.  This time we made it a little more secure than previously.

The following Sunday morning we visited the site again—and the covering stone had been removed, again!  So we replaced it, securely, and visited the place a week later—and the same thing had happened again.  This occurred time after time, month after month, year after year.  Every single time we covered the entrance, something came and removed it.  Yet no one ever comes on this section of the moorland—and even if they did, the site is very difficult to locate.  Until now, the site has never been added to any archaeology or history records anywhere—so no one knew of its existence.

When Andrew Hammond and I left school at 18 (in 1981), we decided as a ritual to bring our school books onto the moor and burn them as the sun was setting in the northwest.  We sat near the little mine-shaft and sang our songs of joys at being out of school at last—and as the darkness began to fall over the moor, we replaced the entrance-stone again.  Within 30 minutes Nature had cast pitch black across the moor and we fell asleep.

Awaking at sunrise the following day, we wandered down the slope to the little mine-shaft where we’d repositioned the stone only hours previously.  It had been moved again, several yards away from the position Jon Tilleard first dislodged it from, several years previously.

No animal tracks, droppings, or any evidence whatsoever of Nature’s creatures being responsible for the constant removal of the covering stone has ever been found.  The constant removal of the covering stone remains a complete mystery.

When a dowser came and tried tracing the underground route of the tunnel in the early 1990s, his rods took him to the top of the rocky hill above, then led him in a small curve to the northwest for more than 100 yards before stopping.


In the event that archaeologists ever get round to excavating or assessing this site, I would appreciate being contacted before anything is done and would love to be involved in any work performed at the site.  I’ll be a good boy!  Other remains nearby (usually covered by heather) need appraising to enable a more complete analysis, otherwise all subsequent reports would lack wider archaeocentric contextualization.  Thanks, in advance. :)


  1. Bennett, P., ‘Into a Mythic Domain – a Passage into the Ilkley Underworld,’ in Northern Earth, 87, Autumn 2001.

Acknowledgements:  Huge thanks to James Elkington for use of his photos to illustrate this site profile.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian


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