Grey Stone, Harewood, West Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SE 3148 4307

Also Known as:

  • Carving no.399 (Boughey & Vickerman)

Getting Here

Various ways to get here, but I suppose the easist is by walking along the path just above the woods from the main A61 road, where there’s the junction turn-off to Wike.  You have to walk perhaps 1000 yards until eventually, a couple of hundred yards up the slope to your left (south) you’ll see the boulder stuck in the field.  You’re there!

Archaeology & History

The Grey Stone, Harewood

The Grey Stone, Harewood

Described first by Cowling & Hartley in 1960, this multiple-ringed carving gives the distinct impression that it aint quite as old as our more traditional cup-and-rings on the moors west and north of here – but I s’ppose we’ll never know for sure.  There isn’t a central cup to this concentric-ringed carving, which is quite unusual, and which is why I get the impression that it’s from a later archaeological period.  However, saying that, there are several other faint cup-markings on the southwest and east-faces of the boulder (which I forgot to photograph when I was there – idiot that I am!).  Boughey and Vickerman (2003) illustrate as many as 18 other cup-marks on the rock surface – which they list as stone 399 in their survey.

Although there seems to be no folklore attached to this isolated carving, rock-art authority Graeme Chappell noted how “the midwinter full moon set behind Almscliffe Crags at its extreme northerly setting point in Bronze Age times” from this Grey Stone.

The archaeologist S.A. Moorhouse (1981) also pointed out how some of the many Grey Stones (which usually means ‘a boundary stone’, sometimes very ancient ones) found in northern England, derive their name from the word har, which “can also mean ‘grey, hoar,’ used to describe natural boulders, possibly with cup-and-ring markings” – just as we have here!

References:

Bennett, Paul, The Old Stones of Elmet, Capall Bann: Milverton 2001.
Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
Cowling, E.T. & Hartley, C.E., ‘A Ring-Marked Rock: The Grey Stone,’ in YAJ 1960.
Moorhouse, S.A., ‘Boundaries,’ in Faull & Moorhouse’s West Yorkshire: An Archaeological Survey, volume 2, 1981.

© 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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