Ancient Monuments

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

A Scheduled Monument in Ilkley, Bradford

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Latitude: 53.9092 / 53°54'33"N

Longitude: -1.7991 / 1°47'56"W

OS Eastings: 413292.445697

OS Northings: 445914.187013

OS Grid: SE132459

Mapcode National: GBR HRW7.9D

Mapcode Global: WHC8W.B0JG

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

Scheduled Date: 17 October 1930

Last Amended: 11 July 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014005

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25333

County: Bradford

Civil Parish: Ilkley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Ben Rhydding St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


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
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.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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