Carved rock and associated prehistoric walling above Backstone Beck, 200 WNW of Gill Head Reservoir

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012834

Date first listed: 11-Oct-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Carved rock and associated prehistoric walling above Backstone Beck, 200 WNW of Gill Head Reservoir
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Bradford (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Ilkley

National Grid Reference: SE 12559 46346

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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. Within the landscape of Rombalds Moor are many discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC), although earlier and later examples may also exist. They were constructed as protected areas for settlement, stock penning, or crop growing. They may be subdivided into a series of smaller enclosures; those used for settlement may retain evidence of the round huts originally located within them. The size and form of enclosures vary considerably, depending on their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes provide important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices among prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are worthy of protection.

Prehistoric rock carving is found on natural boulders and rock outcrops in many areas of upland Britain. It is especially common in the north of England in Northumberland, Durham, and North and West Yorkshire. The most common form of decoration is the `cup' marking, where small cup-like hollows are worked into the surface of the rock. These cups may be surrounded by one or more `rings'. Single pecked lines extending from the cup through the rings may also exist, providing the design with a `tail'. Other shapes and patterns also occur but are less frequent. Carvings may occur singly, in small groups, or may cover extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods (2800-c.500 BC) and provide one of our most important insights into prehistoric `art'. The exact meaning of the designs remains unknown, but they may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols. All positively identified prehistoric rock carvings sites will normally be identified as nationally important. The carving on the rock survives well and it will contribute to an understanding of the wider grouping of carved rocks. Prehistoric walling, interpreted as the remains of an enclosure, lies immediately adjacent to the carved rock. Information on the relationship of these remains will be preserved and they will aslo contribute to an understanding of wider prehistoric landscapes on Rombalds Moor.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a carved gritstone rock and associated rubble walling. They are situated west of Backstone Beck, overlooking the beck. The dimensions of the rock are 1.15m x 0.86m x 0.12m. The carving consists of three cups with rings, five other cups and a wide groove. The walling is composed of rubble, incorporating only one or two large boulders. It is typically 2m-3m wide, forming an arc to the immediate west of the carved rock. An additional fragment of rubble walling, c.5m long, and a small pile of rubble of c.2m diameter, possibly a cairn, are situated immediately to the south of the main arc of rubble wall. The rubble wall disappears into deeper peat at its western end. It may therefore be more extensive than can be determined from surface examination. It is probable that it once formed an enclosure similar to those east of Backstone Beck.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 25380

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing