It’s almost 50 years since I moved up to North Yorkshire from the Midlands and started my exploration of the North York Moors. I love going ‘off-piste’ and I thought I had explored every path, every sheep track, and every swidden on the Cleveland Hills.
But today, on a very familiar patch of heather moor, I stumbled across a face carved on a sandstone boulder.
It’s not a Venus de Milo but it’s certainly better than anything I could produce.
This enigmatic piece of rock art reminded me of a carving on Roseberry Topping, not a million miles away. That face seems to be wearing a bishop’s mitre but is heavily weather-worn. Might it be the same artist?
I know of another face carved into a quarry on Hasty Bank. This one has hair and appears to be female.
If these are all by the same hand, he or she was quite prolific. I wonder how many more there are hidden in deep corners of the moors.
No map extract today. I didn’t try but the face is carved on a boulder which seems transportable. I thought I better not publicise the location otherwise it might appear on eBay.