Knotties Stone, Otley Chevin, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 20772 44181

Also Known as:

  1. Carving no. 396 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

From the Chevin hotel, walk onto the Chevin itself, turning left and walk about 350 yards east, past the small copse of trees.  Just north of the main path before the land slopes down you’ll find it.  It’s carved on an earthfast rock about 6ft long.

Archaeology & History

Otley Chevin's cup-and-ring stone

Otley Chevin’s cup-and-ring stone

This is an excellent carving if you’re into cup-and-rings!  Eric Cowling (1940) first described the stone* in an article for the Yorkshire Archaeology Society. Although somewhat faded, when the stone’s wet and the sun’s low on the horizon, you can make out more rings than just the three which Boughey & Vickerman (2003) counted in their survey.

Folklore

Although the Chevin itself has a history of ‘supposed’ heathen goings-on in bygone days, the carving has nowt specific said of it.  Although one intriguing bit of info comes from the old Otley historian, Harold Walker (1974), who said that,

“blocks of stone were sent from (the) Chevin to form the foundations of the Houses of Parliament”!

Eric Cowling's 1940 photo

Eric Cowling’s 1940 photo

Those lying deviants probably smashed up a few bits of extra rock art when they did this — not that those sorta people give a shit about anything unless it’s about money.

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 Archaeology Journal, 97, 1940.
  3. Cowling, E.T., Rombald’s Way, William Walker: Otley 1946.
  4. Walker, Harold, This Little Town of Otley, Olicana: Otley 1974.

* Graeme Chappell tells me that this carving was named after Cowling’s nickname, Knotty!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

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About megalithix

Occultist, prehistorian and independent archaeological researcher, specializing in prehistoric rock art, Neolithic, Bronze Age & Iron Age sites, and the animistic cosmologies of pre-Christian & traditional cultures.
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