Not far from the legendary Hitching Stone is this curiously-shaped boulder, first described in The Old Stones of Elmet. No totally guaranteed cup-markings are apparent on top of the stone (many of 'em seem to be natural, though I could be wrong); instead they are curiously etched at the base of the rock. It seems this boulder aligns with the Hitching Stone for the winter solstice sunrise: hence its name.
Man Stone (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes
Takes a bit of finding this (like oh so many CRs), but it's worth the search! Best approached from Askwith, up the moor-road till you reach the car-park on the right hand side. On the other side of the road, walk up a bit till reaching the footpath west. Once past the triangulation pillar, head south to Hollin Tree Hill. There are scatterings of stones around the hilltop, some of which are the denuded remains of the Hollin Tree Hill neolithic settlement. You're very very close - look around! (accurate OS-coordinate SE 16722 50595)
First described in Bennett's Old Stones of Elmet (pp.149-152), this carving on the vertical face of the stone freaked me into exultations when Graeme Chappell & I first discovered it in the early 1990s. I went a "bit mental", as they say, when we first saw this, as the human image in the carving hit me immediately. Needless to say, Graeme was all calm about it while I jumped round like a tit!
Catalogued in Boughey & Vickerman's survey (2003) as 'stone 516,' it is the earliest known representation of a human figure in the British Isles, despite what one or two old die-hards might think. The rubbing of the stone shows this quite clearly - and it is the impression most folk get of the design when they first see it. Its female compatriot, the Woman Stone, can be found a few hundred yards east of here, at the bottom of the slope by the near horizon.
I'm intrigued to find there's so much said about this site and feel I should put my recent feelings about the place on the Net.
A description from Collyer and Turner's Ilkley, Ancient and Modern (1885) started it all off, where they told:
"There was still a rude circle of rocks on the reach beyond White Wells fifty years ago, tumbled into such confusion that you had to look once, and again, before you saw what lay under your eyes."
Just what we roughly see today - and in just the area they mentioned. Neither Collyer nor Turner tended to flights of fancy, but were typical of the Victorian historians of the period: sticklers for precision in their respective works. I'm not quite as capable as those chaps! Although in Circles...of West Yorkshire I posited the site as a double-ringed circle, nowadays (after many sleeps & visits here) I tend to think this was originally a single ring of stones. The small ring in the middle of this mess was certainly arranged in the last century or two - probably by the doods who made what seems to be a sheep-fold. A distinct embankment on the eastern side of this tumbled-down relic can be seen, and a fallen upright clearly lays at the base of the walling in line with the same arc. But what we need (as everyone keeps saying) is an excavation.
I'm sure some of you will have noticed there is also more neolithic walling less than 200 yards north of the Backstone Circle, structurally consistent with the remains across the valley at the excavated Green Crag Slack settlement.
There are two large boulders here, one of which was deemed the Ashlar many moons back. You can approach it from the lazy way: park y' car at the top of the road by the Whetstone Gate TV masts and walk east right along the boundary path till you get here. The better way is from Twelve Apostles: from there walk a coupla hundred yards north to the Lanshaw Lad boundary stone, where a small path heads west. Along here for another coupla hundred yards, then hit the footpath south for the roughly the same distance again. You've arrived!
Several early records described cup-and-ring designs on the Ashlar: firstly in Forrest & Grainge's archaeological tour; then in Collyer & Turner's Ilkley (1885); and lastly by the great Yorkshire historian and topographer Harry Speight (1892, 1900), who said "it bears numerous cups and channels." None of these writers tended to flights of fancy, so I think we can be pretty sure that such carvings were visible in the 19th century. Does anyone know if there are any old drawings of them?
Collyer , R. & Turner, J.H., Ilkley Ancient & Modern, William Walker: Leeds 1885
Forrest, C. & Grainge, W., A Ramble on Rombald's Moor, Wakefield 1868
Speight, Harry, Chronicles & Stories of Old Bingley and District, Elliott Stock: London 1892
Speight, Harry, Upper Wharfedale, Elliott Stock: Lodnon 1900
I resurrected this old standing stone in 1996, several years after I first discovered it amidst the heather in the early 1990s. It marked an old boundary line (no longer used) but its nature is distinctly prehistoric. The remains of a small hut circle (seemingly Bronze Age, though excavation is needed) can be found a short distance to the west, though this is hard to find when the heather has grown. The suggestion by Peter Evans that the Greenwood C stone stood "possibly at the centre of a stone circle" is sadly untrue (soz Peter); though it may have had a relationship with the Millers Grave site a few hundred yards equinox east. I have a black&white image of this stone somewhere, which I'll post when it emerges from the aged dust of whichever file it hides within. (Though there's a picture of it in "The Old Stones of Elmet")