Enclosed settlement containing three carved rocks known as Backstone Beck Enclosure

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012847

Date first listed: 22-May-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Enclosed settlement containing three carved rocks known as Backstone Beck Enclosure
© 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.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1012847 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 15-Oct-2018 at 09:55:51.

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 12832 46184

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 (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 may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols. All positively identified prehistoric rock carving sites will normally be identified as nationally important. This enclosed settlement is well-preserved, and is important evidence of prehistoric activity on this part of Rombalds Moor. The carvings on these rocks survive well and they will contribute to an understanding of the wider grouping of carved rocks on Rombalds Moor.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a rubble-walled enclosed settlement containing three carved rocks and two possible hut circles. It is situated on a low ridge at the western end of Green Crag Slack, a short distance east of Backstone Beck. The enclosed settlement, which was partially excavated by the Ilkley Archaeology Group (1982-1987), has been partly reconstructed as a low rubble wall, 1.25m wide and 0.4m high. This reconstruction also includes two small circular structures, probably hut circles, at the southern end. Where the bank is undisturbed it has little visible structure and is 1.9m wide and 0.3m high. The enclosure is incomplete on its western side, and has an area of rough cobbling near the south east corner. All three carved rocks are in prominent positions on the ridge and have complex carvings in the cup-and-ring tradition.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 25334

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 46
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 46
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 46
Other
Backstone Beck Excavation, Godfrey HW, Summary Report, (1987)

End of official listing