A free exhibition of large format colour and monochrome images of Megalithic sites by Steve Francis at Artsmill Gallery in Hebden Bridge. The exhibition runs between Wednesday 22nd August and Sunday 23rd September 2007.
Small desolate moor to the West of Halifax, above Mytholmroyd. Much evidence of ancient habitation, but little charted on OS map. There are three bronze age enclosures to the south of Crow Hill which I have yet to confidently find.
You can park on the roadside in Midgely or walk up from Mytholmroyd Station
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")
The Planets (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes
I seem to be the odd one out here - cos I find this carving superb. Its name perhaps lends you to expect something more, but this is down to the astronomer who thought this was some type of heavenly image (which is most unlikely). I call it the Map Stone because the correlates this carving has with aboriginal CRs is impressive and, to aborigines at least, would seem to have all the hallmarks of a map. The incidence of cup&rings linked by curvaceous lines typifies routes between water-holes or settlement spots made by ancestral beings. The next time anyone visits this stone have a look at it with that idea in mind. Its simple, straightforward and makes sense... (mind you - that doesn't mean to say it's right!)
Using nine other CRs on this moor as a test-case, Alan Davies (1983, 1988) explored the idea that the dimensions of the Map Stone carving were based on Alexander Thom's megalithic inch (MI). However the selectivity of some of the data in the carvings throw considerable doubt on the idea. Certainly I don't buy it anymore...
This is a rather interesting site, because the layout of the Iron Age hillfort now encompasses the remains of a motte and bailey castle. The hillfort enclosed the summits of two adjacent hills, Wendel Hill and Hall Tower Hill.
The hillfort has been identified by some researchers as the capital of Cartimandua. It has also been interpreted as the capital or chief stronghold of the Kingdom of Elmet and was later owned by Edwin Earl of Mercia.
Under the famous Hanging Stone, with its mystic "cup and ring" sculptures, the rock is hollowed out forming a deep overhanging cavity, and I am told that this ancient rock-shelter has been known from time immemorial as "Fairies' Kirk," and traditions of its having been tenanted by those tiny sprites, the fairies, still exist among old people in the neighbourhood. When the Saxons established themselves at Ilkley they were going to build a church up here, but the fairies strongly resented. They would have none of it, and so their little temple was erected in the vale below. The fairies distrust any intrusion upon their own sacred places [...] I cannot go into all the details I have heard of the antics of these mysterious little people here and in the neighbouring gills.
Hanging Stones (west of Cow and Calf), cup and ring marked. Some vandal has been imitating the primeval sculptures by chiselling on the same stone, but the freshness of the recent work is at once seen. It is to be regretted that quarrying has been permitted to get so near this exceedingly valuable monument of antiquity, a relic which, as the ages roll on, must gather an ever-deepening interest.