Cup-and-Ring Stone: OS Grid Reference – SE 17803 51012
Not too difficult to locate if you don’t mind wandering to and fro in deep heather. From the Askwith Moor Road parking spot, walk up the road (north) 300 yards until you see the disused quarry on the moor to your right. From here, head onto the moor, straight down past the quarry for about 200 yards, angling slightly to your right. You’ll notice some overgrown ‘lumps’ in the heather — deemed as a cairnfield by archaeologists — go just below these and watch out for some rocks emerging from the heather. This carving (and its neighbours) is on one of ’em!
Archaeology & History
This curiously-shaped large rock has several worn cup-and-rings on its upper surface, with several cup-marks aswell. Two deeply etched lines running down the edge of the rock have also been pecked away as part of the carving, in contrast to the distinguishing natural water-worn line that runs diagonally along and down to the bottom of the stone.
The site was first described by Eric Cowling (1937), who labelled it as Carving no.9 in his survey, saying:
“At the eastern and lower end of the barrow group on Snowden Carr is a cluster of angular boulders, one of which has several markings cut on the upper surface. There is a cup and ring on the highest, and alongside two rings are joined together and enclose separate cups. One corner of the area is isolated by a groove running from edge to edge, and within this enclosure are three cups.”
Catalogued as ‘stone 582’ in Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey, their description of the carving was one with “fourteen possible cups, several with indications of a ring, some of which intersect; grooves.”
Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
Cowling, Eric T., “Cup and Ring Markings to the North of Otley,” in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, part 131, 33:3, 1937.
Cowling, Eric T., Rombald’s Way: A Prehistory of Mid-Wharfedale, William Walker: Otley 1946.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian