The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Cow and Calf Rocks

Natural Rock Feature


The most prominent landmark for miles around. There are no visible megalithic remains at this huge rock outcrop, but local folklore refers to this being a place worthy of strong consideration.

I've always found it a little strange that as the most prominent landmark for miles around, the Cow n' Calf didn't bear any cup n' ring marks as they can be found both to the left and the right of the outcrop. It is possible that any that may have been on the rock could have been lost under the onslaught of Victorian graffiti or the wear of thousands of pairs of feet every year.

The surface of the outcrop is worth a view just for the modern (mostly Victorian) graffiti, which is similar to dobbing around a churchyard reading gravestones.

It is thought that the Cow n' Calf name originates not from it's appearance, but from a tradition of lighting beacons on the rocks.

"The larger rock was once known as the 'Inglestone Cow'... The Scottish dialect word, ingle, 'fire burning on a hearth', may come from the Gaelic aingeal, meaning 'fire' or 'light'.

"There is strong evidence of an old calendar custom in the British Isles, around Beltaine or springtime in general, where the old fires are extinguished and new ones are lit. Cattle are then driven between two fires to divinely protect them from disease. 'Imbolc' means 'purification'. Inglestone Cow... Fire-stone Cow."

Gyrus - Verbeia: Goddess of Wharfedale

The Cow and Calf rocks were once accompanied by a huge Bull Stone. But this was quarried away in Victorian times.
Kozmik_Ken Posted by Kozmik_Ken
16th October 2003ce

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