Standing Stone: OS Grid Reference – SD 98374 28800
Also Known as:
- Dawson City Field Stone
Go all the way up and through Heptonstall village until you reach the hamlet of Slack, by the road junction. From here walk down the road as if you’re going back into Hebden for less than 200 yards, then take the footpath on the left downhill and walk along. After a couple of stiles, keep a keen eye on the walling where the holly trees are, above the tree-line of Hardcastle Crags. You’ll see it soon enough!
Archaeology & History
Arguably the best-named standing stone in Britain, it was first discovered by Absalom Voist in the late 1990s (and first described in my Old Stones of Elmet), hiding away in the more modern walling, beneath a holly tree. But the stone itself is very nicely eroded and seems of good age, aswell as being a good near-six-foot tall specimen of a standing stone, just above the tree-line south of Hebden Dale. The stone gets its name from the fact that it’s at the bottom end of Slack village (which is actually called ‘Slack Bottom’ – with a house-sign there above the door to prove it!). It may be part of what was originally some original Iron Age walling instead of an authentic standing stone — tis hard to say really — but it’s a nice stone nonetheless. David Shepherd (2003) named this stone as ‘Dawson City Field’ in his later survey of megaliths in upper Calderdale.
Not far from here, along the edge of the woodland, is the little-known remains of an old cross-base which I think has eluded all previous surveys. Next time I’m up here, I’ll try remember to get some photos of the place!
- Bennett, Paul, The Old Stones of Elmet, Capall Bann: Milverton 2001.
- Shepherd, David, ‘Prehistoric Activity in the Central South Pennines,’ in Proc. Halifax Ant. Soc., 2003.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian