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

Ecclesall Woods

Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art


This is a strange one, a carved stone in a wood on the posh outskirts of south west Sheffield, but there are a few clues to work from. First thing you notice as you approach the wood from the northeast is that you're going uphill, if you carry on for another few miles you're onto the moors with Ash Cabin Flat only 4 miles and Barbrook 5 miles from the stone. So it stands close to an existing prehistoric landscape, it's just that the urbanisation of Sheffield has destroyed anything to the east - it's a miracle that this stone survived. This hillside position is also close to the River Sheaf which reminded me of the stones that overlook the Wharf on Ilkley Moor. Also the general design is typically 'Yorkshire' with the gutter that runs around the edge of the rock being very similar to The Planets. The similarity with the rocks to the west ends with the condition of the stone however. The grooves are so deeply cut in places and the edges so sharp that it's hard to believe that it's the same age as the worn and eroded west Yorkshire rocks which leads me to one of three conclusions. First, that this wood is *very* old and has protected the stone from the worst of the elements, I would still expect more erosion though. Second is that the stone has been buried for a long time - certainly in October it had almost vanished under a layer of leaves. Thirdly is that the stone came from somewhere else where it maybe formed part of the inside a cairn and was moved here for some reason by those overenthusiastic 19th century antiquarians, a lack of other rocks in the wood might support this theory.
Whichever, it's still a lovely example of a carved stone - I love it!
Chris Collyer Posted by Chris Collyer
1st November 2003ce

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