Cup and ring marked rock between Spicey Gill and the Ilkley-Keighley road
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1012025
Date first listed: 24-Feb-1995
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Feb-2019 at 15:33:43.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Bradford (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference: SE 10746 46503
Reasons for Designation
Rombalds Moor is an eastern outlier of the main Pennine range lying between
the valleys of the Wharfe and the Aire. The bulk of this area of 90 sq km of
rough moorland lies over 200m above sea level. The moor is particularly rich
in remains of prehistoric activity. The most numerous relics are the rock
carvings which can be found on many of the boulders and outcrops scattered
across the moor. Burial monuments, stone circles and a range of enclosed
settlements are also known.
Prehistoric rock carving is found on rock outcrops in several parts of upland
Britain with one of the densest concentrations on Rombalds Moor. The most
common form of decoration is the `cup and ring' mark in which expanses of
small cup-like hollows, which may be surrounded by one or more `rings', are
pecked into the surface of the rock. Other shapes and patterns, including some
dominated by grooves or lines, are also known. Carvings may occur singly or in
small groups, or may cover extensive areas of rock surface. They are believed
to date to the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods (c.2800-500 BC) and
provide one of our most important insights into prehistoric `art'. The exact
meaning of the designs remains unknown, but they have been interpreted as
sacred or religious symbols. Frequently they are found close to contemporary
burial monuments. All positively identified prehistoric rock carving sites
exhibiting a significant group of designs have been identified as nationally
The carvings on this rock survive well and it will contribute to an understanding of the wider grouping of carved rocks.
The monument includes a carved gritstone rock, 0.85m x 0.73m x 0.38m. It is
situated on gently sloping land between Spicey Gill and the Ilkley-Keighley
road, just below a small covered reservoir.
The carving consists of ten cups, three with single rings, with grooves
running down from them.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 25399
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 42
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing