Badger Stone
Bronze Age Carved Rock (PRAWR 250)
Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire  OS Map Ref SE11074605
OS Maps - Landranger 104 (Leeds & Bradford), Explorer 297 (Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley)

The Badger Stone -  Ilkley Moor (PRAWR 250)
The Badger Stone looking northwards towards the River Wharf valley
Badger Stone -  Ilkley Moor - Carving Detail
Complex carvings on the southwestern side of the stone

Badger Stone -  Ilkley Moor - Unfinished Swastika
A possible unfinished swastika design on the eastern end

Badger Stone - Plan of the carvings

The Badger Stone is possibly the most impressive of the carved rocks on Ilkley Moor. Over a metre high and around 3 metres in length this bolder has a southwest facing flattest surface that is marked with a profusion of cups (around 95), rings, interlinking grooves and gutters. At the eastern end there is a design that could represent an unfinished swastika although it is more angular than the one on the nearby Swastika Stone. Depending on the weather and sunlight the rock can change from grey and featureless to a rich golden brown, resembling a miniature Uluru/Ayers Rock, with the carvings thrown into sharp relief. It may be necessary for several visits to the rock in differing condition to get a full appreciation of the complex designs.
It could be possible that this rock was chosen for carving not just for its size, but also for its position. From here several other of the carved rocks on the moor are visible, or at least their positions are visible. These include the stones at Weary Hill and Willy Hall's Wood as well as the prominent Neb Stone. The importance of sight lines between stones may help to explain why some nondescript stones seem to be heavily patterned while others that would seem to be prime candidates for decoration have no carvings at all.

PRAWR = Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding (Boughey and Vickerman 2003).
Glossary Item: Bronze Age

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