Me and my apprentice dodman set off in search of hut circles. I had read somewhere that there were circles just above Baysdale on Kildale/Warren Moor.
We parked up at Hob Hole and marched up the road to the bridleway opposite to the Sloethorn Park road. The weather was terrible and the path was a mud monsters paradise.
The are lots of rocks and boulders strewn along the hillside that leads down to the beck. We investigated quite a few of these and found quite a few possible cups most of which were fairly weathered. You have to be careful around here because the rocks are iron rich, the iron forms nodules in the rocks which weather-out leaving a 'pseudo cup'.
The was one distinctive rock that we came across that I'm pretty sure has a genuine single cup. The rock is in a significant spot about 20 metres downhill from the path and directly opposite to the junction of the Great Hograh Beck Valley and Baysdale. The rock itself is larger than most of it's neighbours and has a large weather-polished upper surface. The cup is right in the middle of this surface. I examined the rock for pseudo-cups and found none. There is also some graffitti on the rock dated 1948. There are other possible cups on rocks opposite to the junction of the little Hograh Beck and Baysdale.
You may say "one cup mark, so what?" but considering that there are huge stretches of the UK that are completely devoid of any rock art , one small North Yorks site, is significant.
We failed to find the hut circles as we spent too much time looking at the rocks in the valley. We've saved them for another day, preferably in summer.
I was back in Baysdale yesterday and found another 'cup' but following a discussion with a local gamekeeper I am now less convinced that this is rock art and more convinced that these marks could be bullet holes. Apparently the armed forces used standing stones for target practice during WW2. The bullet hole theory was also put forward by Graeme C on his excellent website.
Don't let this put you off visiting Baysdale, it's a lovely spot. There are some rather unsatisfactory hut circles at NZ628078 and although I'm not a big fan of grouse butts, if you up there check out the lovely grouse carving in the butt.