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One of the joys of living in England is that there is history everywhere. Even a simple field can contain lots of clues – if you know where to look.

The crossroads on the moor - left leads to Asquith and Ilkley, right to Snowden (where an unexcavated Neolithic settlement is), and straight on leads to Blubberhouses and Nidderdale.

The crossroads on the moor – left leads to Asquith and Ilkley, right to Snowden (where an unexcavated Neolithic settlement is), and straight on leads to Blubberhouses and Nidderdale.

Literally a 2 minute drive from my house you come to the crossroads on the moor road. And a field on the left contains lots of amazing things to see.

The fabled 'Owl Stone' - a prehistoric carving..long since gone

The fabled ‘Owl Stone’  – (photo by  QDanT and ‘the Bear’).

I have driven past this field thousands of times and until a few months ago, like most people, I had no idea what was in it.

A ruined grouse butt, with a boundary stone in the distance

A ruined grouse butt, with a boundary stone in the distance

This day I was with two friends and we were hoping to find the ‘Owl Stone’ – prehistoric carving about 2 ft square with 2 big ‘eyes’ peering out of it. Danny, who had seen it before, said it was hard to find but we were confident, having a grid ref and a map.

One of the boundary stones in this field.

One of the boundary stones in this field.

Another boundary stone - just a few yards from the previous one.

Another boundary stone – just a few yards from the previous one.

But try as we might we just couldn’t locate it. We assumed it had been ‘moved’ or ‘nicked’ by someone, or maybe the farmer had turned it over and shored up a wall with it, not knowing what it was.

But there was other things too – several ancient boundary stones, and also a few prehistoric grave mounds too. As well as a superbly carved rock!

Greystone Rock - a superb Neolithic carving in this field

Greystone Rock – a superb Neolithic carving in this field

We did find a large standing stone though, 6 ft. high with a couple of prehistoric carvings on it – and strangely, of the 8 photos I took of it using a Nikon DSLR, only one came out – and this had a strange ‘beam of light’ emitting from it. It may of course be a reflection, or some sort of glare, but looking at the RAW file I can’t seem to make sense of what it is. The camera has worked before and since with no problems – and I have been taking photos for 40 years!

Is this a burial mound? There are supposed to be some in this field.

Is this a burial mound? There are supposed to be some in this field.

The standing stone, with a strange 'beam of light' emitting from the side...

The standing stone, with a strange ‘beam of light’ emitting from the side…

So if you are in England, next time you drive past a field – perhaps you may want to stop the car and have a poke about…you never know what you may find!

 

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