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Woofa Bank[576 x 386 JPG]
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|Description ||The enclosure wall, looking west.
|In February 2003, myself and a rambling buddy were wandering the moors above
Ilkley. We noticed the heather had been recently burned off for the grouse
to feast on the young shoots, leaving the huge enclosure at Woofa bank
Climbing down, I paced the low rubble walls to be about 50 meters in
The site holds various cup-marked rocks, one of which is actually part of
the wall. In fact the plateau contains up to a third of the carved rocks of
An enclosure nearby (at Green Crag Slack) is tentatively dated at Late
Neolithic/Early Bronze Age (Edwards and Bradley 1999).
In the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze age the whole area was covered in light
scrub, with hazel, alder, birch and pine covering the plateau, according to
It has also been suggested that a shallow lake may have occured here.
Not only were conditions favourable for settling, the area is thought to
have been part of a major trade route across the Pennines.
|andy h |
|Hi Dave... this is a wonderful place isn't it. I'd heard of its existence sometime ago, but only got the chance to check it out the other weekend. I spotted the curve of the walling from the hillside above. The enclosure reminds me of how the Backstone Beck enclosure looked before it was excavated and partially reconstructed. The rock art at this site is wonderful.
I took a pic from almost the same spot too...
Evidence of habitation at Backstone Beck has been dated to as far back as 7000bce. There is another (large) enclosure at Green Crag with quite a lot of rock art and more prehistoric walling and rock art on Cranshaw Thorne Hill, at the top of Ilkley Crags.|
|Hi Andy! Yeah, it's a great spot for sitting and taking in the views across the Wharfe valley. Did you find the well to the north of the enclosure?
I didn't know the sites at Backstone were so old! Pretty amazing!|
|andy h |
|No, I didn't spot the well, but I did note that the enclosure was sited between two spring heads.
The walling at Backstone was dated as Bronze Age (probably contemporary with Woofa Bank?), but they found that the site had first been inhabited about 9000 years ago. Which places it amongst some of the oldest known settlements in the country... certainly in the area. I think Otley Chevin may be a little older.|
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