Enclosure, fieldwalls and cairnfield, including seven carved rocks and an upright stone.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014005

Date first listed: 17-Oct-1930

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Jul-1995


Ordnance survey map of Enclosure, fieldwalls and cairnfield, including seven carved rocks and an upright stone.
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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 13297 45922


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. Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture, and occasionally their distribution can be seen to define field plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed during the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size, content and association of cairnfields provide important information on the development and associations of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

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 from the Bronze Age(c.2000-700 BC), although earlier and later examples may also exist. They are believed to have been constructed as protected areas for settlement, stock penning, or crop growing, and may also have been used for ritual purposes. They may be subdidvided into a series of smaller enclosures; those used for settlement retain evidence of the round huts originally located within them. The size and form of the enclosures vary considerably, depending on their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relation 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 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. This monument combines a small cairnfield with at least one prehistoric enclosure, an assortment of rubble banks and a number of carved rocks. Although many of the cairns are heavily robbed, the other features survive well. Together they form an important part of the prehistoric landscape on this part of Rombalds Moor.


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


The monument includes fragmentary remains comprising rubble banks, small cairns, carved rocks and one upright stone. They are all situated below Green Crag, on, and immediatly west of the boundary between Burley Moor and Ilkley Moor. The rubble banks are typically c.2m wide and up to 0.6m high; many are short and indistinct. At the northern edge, and the south east end of the area, the banks are longer and curving, forming at least one incomplete enclosure; the remainder are interpreted as the remains of field walls. The cairns are small, typically 3m to 5m in diameter. Many have been heavily robbed, leaving only a few boulders; this combined with the stony ground makes these cairns extremely difficult to recognise, particularly in the western part of the area. There may therefore be more cairns than are currently known. The carved rocks, of which seven are known, vary in design from the simple cup mark to complex arrangements of cups, rings and grooves. Three of these rocks are grouped in close proximity, suggesting that they may once have formed part of a cairn. The upright rock is probably of natural origin, but may be important as a focus for prehistoric activity.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 25333

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 96
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 96
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 97
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 97
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 105
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 47
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 48
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 48

End of official listing