Bronze Age / Iron Age(?) Carved Rock (PRAWR 217)
Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire OS Map Ref SE096470
OS Maps - Landranger 104 (Leeds & Bradford), Explorer 297 (Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley)
Probably the most well known carved rock on the Moor, the Swastika Stone is an unusual design and it is not clear if it dates from the same time as the other rocks on the moor which are thought to have been carved in the Bronze Age or if it belongs to a later Iron Age date.
Situated on the edge of Woodhouse Crag with extensive views to the north, there are in fact two Swastika stones here - the carving closest to the footpath (photograph below) is a Victorian copy of the now much fainter original carving just a metre or so beyond it (shown above).
The design itself consists of four spiral arms with a cup in the loop of each arm and also one within the outer ring of each arm. There is also a cup in the centre of the design meaning the cups themselves form a 5x5 cross figure. A strange curving motif which also encloses a cup also emerges from one of the arms.
What this design means is unclear, although it is known that in many ancient civilizations the swastika is recognised as a symbol relating to the sun.
PRAWR = Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding (Boughey and Vickerman 2003)
See also: Ilkley Moor & Rombalds Moor Introduction
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