Cup-Marked Stone: OS Grid Reference – SE 17993 51112
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.”
[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.]
Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS 2003.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian