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)
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 flattish surface that is marked with a profusion of cups (around ninety-five), 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 is possible that this rock was chosen for carving not just for its size, but also for its position. The photograph above is the view looking north towards the River Wharfe valley which partly hidden in the early evening mist. 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.

See also Ilkley Moor & Rombalds Moor Introduction

Date: Bronze Age
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.


Beckensall, S. 1999. British Prehistoric Rock Art. Stroud: Tempus Publishing Ltd.
Bennett, P. 1995. Circles, Standing Stones and Legendary Rocks of West Yorkshire. Loughborough: Heart of Albion Press.
Boughey, K.J.S. and Vickerman, E.A. 2003. Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding. West Yorkshire Archaeology Service.

Cope, J. 1998. The Modern Antiquarian. A Pre-Millennial Odyssey through Megalithic Britain. London: Thorsons.

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