Cup-and-Ring Stone: OS Grid Reference – SE 1708 5054 — NEW FIND
From the Askwith Moor Road parking spot, head across the road and take the directions to the Woman Stone carving about 510 yards (467m) across the moors to the west. From here, look straight down the slope and head towards the largest boulder at the bottom, 20-30 yards away. About 10-20 yards to the right of this, zigzag about in the vegetation until you find the small stone amidst the bracken. You’ll find it!
Archaeology & History
This small stone, whose natural contours and cracks have been utilised in the design of the petroglyph, may once have been part of a prehistoric tomb, perhaps rolled or thrown downhill from the nearby Askwith Moor Cairnfield. I say this due to the size and portability of the stone, i.e., it’s small and barely earthfast, giving an increased likelihood that its present position was not its original one. But we might never know…
It’s almost archetypal in design, being a primary cup-and-ring, with what appears to be a faint inner ring etched marginally within the larger notable incomplete circle, just an inch beyond the inner central cup. From this same cup runs a carved line, out to the near edge of the small stone. Single cup-marks occur on the edges of the rock, as can be seen in the photos: three, possibly four of them. One of the cups, where the stone narrows to a rounded point, may also have had a partial ring around it. When we found this stone a few weeks ago, the day was grey and overcast and the light was poor, so our photos do not highlight the carving too well.
(Note: the OS grid-reference for this stone is an approximation: pretty damn close, but not close enough. If someone ventures here and can get the exact grid-ref, we’d be most grateful.)
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian