New features found on Ilkley?
Experts are investigating claims by an amateur archaeologist from Bradford that he has found an important ancient monument on Ilkley Moor.
Two weeks ago Gordon Holmes, 52, who has been scouring local landscapes for signs of ancient sacred sites for three decades, was walking on the moor before sunset when he identified "a vague circular outline" surrounding the triangulation point sited on the highest point of the moor.
"It wasn't long before I began to find fallen standing stones strewn about the locality," said Mr Holmes, who is a technician at the University of Bradford. "Besides what appears to be an inner stone circle at this site, there is evidence of an outer circular barrow. I reckon there's enough evidence to suggest it could be a stone circle about eight feet in diameter surrounded by a larger one maybe 18 feet in diameter."
English Heritage says the find could be significant, but other historians have dismissed the claim. The site identified by Mr Holmes was last surveyed by English Heritage in June 1995 and scheduled by the Department of Media, Culture and Sport, after advice from English Heritage.
Neil Redfern, English Heritage's inspector of monuments in Yorkshire, said: "There are in the region of 100 other scheduled monuments on Ilkley Moor, which is renowned for its concentration of prehistoric rock art panels and other associated features such as burial mounds and settlement sites. "We very much welcome input from interested locals and would be keen to discuss this gentleman's findings."
Gavin Edwards, curator of the Manor House Museum, in Ilkley, and an expert on the Moor's archaeology, agreed that it was possible that additional features remained to be discovered but was cautious about Mr Holmes's claim. "There are a lot of stones and features on the moor which can be misinterpreted," he added. Mr Edwards said that Ilkley Moor had been a favourite haunt of Victorian antiquarians who had disturbed many of the original Bronze and Stone Age features. "Sometimes shepherds would use stones to build sheep shelters. And there's a lot of continuing activity which can easily be misinterpreted as being from another age."
Posted by Rhiannon
6th May 2005ce
Edited 6th May 2005ce