I had wanted to visit the Eagle Stone on Blubberhouses moor for ages, ever since I read about it in the book ‘The Old Stones of Elmet‘ by my good friend Paul Bennett.
The Eagle Stone is a large rock at the side of a small stream, but it is covered in prehistoric ‘cup’ carvings, and there is also a carved bowl on the top. It is situated between the Bronze Age (and unexcavated) Green Plain Settlement, and a Roman Road.
I had tried a couple of times, but it is fairly difficult to find, especially when the bracken is high – and on both times the moors were saturated, so I retreated.
This time I was with my good friend, and fellow Megalithic hunter James Turner. On a very overcast morning, with heavy slow moving clouds we walked onto the moors. Rather than go straight to the Eagle Stone, we had a good look around. This moor is very little visited, and pretty much little has changed for thousands of years.
In the far distance, James noticed what looked like a Neolithic standing stone. It was quite a way away, and it was difficult to get to as it was on the other side of a boggy bit. I put on the 300mm zoom and it certainly looked like one – so we headed to it. We certainly weren’t aware of any standing stones in this area, and when I got home I couldn’t find anything about it – on any of the websites I subscribe to.
So, after taking lots of photos we headed to the old Roman road – which runs past the settlement and the Eagle stone. There isn’t much of the road visible, and it isn’t very long either. Some of it has been regritted by the farmer, but it was still amazing to walk down the road which was first laid down by Roman Legionnaires 2000 years ago!
After a mile or so we came the the Green Plain settlement on the other side of a stream. It is a big clearing, with lots of jumbled stones in it. Bits of wall were visible and the remains of hut circles could be seen.
This settlement is probably in the order of 4 – 5000 years old – and it is interesting to know what the Romans made of it as they marched past. Were they friendly or did they fight the inhabitants. We think a big battle took place 10 miles away on Ilkley moor so I guess it is possible. I am unable to find anything about it.
But the settlement is superb, we wandered around the prehistoric stones and walls for quite awhile, marvelling at the workmanship, and also wondering why it has never been excavated. But that seems to be the way these days, no one seems interested. I doubt if more that a couple of dozen people are aware of this place.
Walking upstream, we eventually came to the Eagle stone. It was a bit of a disappointment, but I think most of the carvings are on the top. We were both tired and soaking wet and to be honest neither of us could be bothered to scramble up it to see the carvings, it is about 4 and a half feet tall. It must have had some mythical meaning for the people who inabited the settlement, but like all prehistoric artefacts it’s meaning has been lost in the mists of time.
Before long it was time to leave, we said our farewells to the Eagle stone and the settlement and picked up the Roman road again. After a mile it disappeared into the moorland and before long we could see the houses of Blubberhouses in the distance. A superb mornings walk.