Cup-and-Ring Stone: OS Grid Reference – SE 09497 46961
From Ilkley, follow the same directions as if you’re going up to the superb Swastika Stone. Keep walking on the footpath, west, for 65 yards (59m), then walk into the heather on your left. Barely 5 yards in, you’ll see this fallen standing stone or gatepost.
Archaeology & History
First described in one of Stuart Feather’s (1964) old rambles, I first saw this stone in my late-teens and was as puzzled by it then as I am today. Upon an obviously worked stone that may once have stood upright (or was intended to do), two faint and incomplete cup-and-rings were carved – but when exactly? If this stone was cut from a larger rock into its present shape, were the petroglyphs already on it, or were they done when the ‘gatepost’ was created?
It was first described in one of Stuart Feather’s (1964) rambles up here and later included in Hedges’ (1986) survey, where he told it to be a, “recumbent gatepost with one cup with almost complete ring and one cup with vestigial ring.” Boughey & Vickerman’s (2003) survey added little more. And when a group calling itself Carved Stones Investigation got itself about £250,000 to “investigate” the Ilkley petroglyphs, I was hoping that they could have at least turned this stone over to see if other carvings were on the stone – but they just revisited all those found by others, made a new list, and took the money to be honest (no website and no book – as they should’ve done). Thankfully, local folk are having a look at this and others and doing the work they should have. Check it out when you’re next up at the Swastika.
- Bennett, Paul, Megalithic Ramblings between Ilkley and Baildon, unpublished: Shipley 1982.
- Boughey, Keith & Vickerman, E.A., Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding, WYAS: Wakefield 2003.
- Feather, Stuart, “Mid-Wharfedale Cup-and-Ring Markings: no.26, 27, 28 – Black Pots, High Moor, Silsden, near Keighley,” in Cartwright Hall Archaeology Group Bulletin, 9:10, 1964.
- Hedges, John, The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, WYMCC: Wakefield 1986.
Acknowledgements: Huge thanks to Dave Whittaker for the photo. Good luck with the plans fellas.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian