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26 April 2004
Another ancient monument damaged by paint

In the light of the recent paint attack on the Rollright Stones, comes news of another case of paint damage to an ancient monument. Willy Hall's Wood Stone is a huge slab of cup and ring marked millstone grit, perched upon the high spot of a natural mound on the northern edge of Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire (England).
     Formed by the course of a stream which drains off the spring heads of Green Gates (also home to a number of cup, ring and groove carvings), divides to flow around the mound and joins again at the foot to form a small waterfall at Willy Hall's Spout, near the Victorian Bath House at White Wells. It is easy to see why this spot was considered sacred to our ancient ancestors, and is an important site in helping to understand the enigma of ancient British rock art.
     Unfortunately, due to the accessibility of the site on the slopes above Ilkley, the stone has fallen prey to vandals. Almost a year ago, someone traced the cup and ring design in red paint and scrawled runic characters on the north face of the stone. Further graffiti has also appeared on the stone recently. Whereas the Rollright Stones have received immediate attention, the paint on the Willy Hall's Wood Stone has be allowed to dry to a matt, rock hard finish that will take decades to weather away.
     Grafitti is a growing problem on Ilkley Moor and a very real threat to the delicate rock art on these moors. Many of the designs are unique to the Ilkley area and are of international importance.

Source: Andy H - andyh-art.com (26 April 2004)

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