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| The Grubstones, Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire |
[640 x 429 jpg]
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|Description ||Likely kerb stones of a robbed cairn, many of which are situated in the Burley Moor area.|
|Paul Bennett |
|Grubstones is an intriguing place and, I recommend, recovers its original name of "Roms Law". It has little visual appeal, almost always overgrown with heather, but its history is considerable. First described in land records of 1273 CE, it was an important site on local boundary perambulations which was enacted each year on Rogation Day (movable feast day in Spring). However in 1733 there was a local boundary dispute which, despite the evidence of written history, proclaimed the Roms Law circle to be beyond the manor of Hawksworth, in which it previously resided. Local people thenceforth made their way to the Great Skirtful of Stones: a giant cairn several hundred yards east to which, archaeologically, there is some considerable relationship. For at the northern edge of Roms Law circle is an avenue of standing stones, previously excluded from all surveys. This avenue, like that at Avebury (though not as big), consists of "male" and "female" stones and begins - as far as modern observations can tell - several hundred yards to the west. The megalithic avenue then passes Roms Law and continues towards to Great Skirtful, until it veers slightly round the huge old tomb, then keeps going into the prehistoric graveyard close by. It is likely that this was an avenue along which our ancestors carried their dead. Equally probable, Roms Law was a site where the body was rested before taken on its way to wherever. A small single tomb is in evidence to the immediate southeast (10 yards) of the circle; and another prehistoric trackway curved its way to the site from Hawksworth Moor south of here. Local legend has it that Roms Law was a meeting place, which probably relates to it being a site where the dead where rested, plus it being as an important point along the old boundary line. Records tell us that the chant, "This is Rumbles Law" occurred here at the end of the perambulation, which after the boundary change was uttered at the Great Skirtful. This continued till at least 1901. More information about this circle can be found in "The Old Stones of Elmet." (Capall Bann 2001)|
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