Cowpers Cross

Walking with a Smacked Pentax

High on Ilkley moor, near a Roman road, lies this lonely, ancient cross. Thought to have been erected in the 12th century, it lies next to the ancient trackway between the towns of Ilkley and Keighley – on lonely, high moorland miles from anywhere.

Damaged by vandals years ago, a reconstructed gatepost is now used for the upright. It has also been struck by lightning in centuries past, but has been repaired.

Originally thought to have been erected to stop locals visiting the Badger stone nearby for regular Spring gatherings, folklore says that markets were once held here around the time of the equinoxes.

Whatever it’s purpose, this cross has endured the centuries on the high windswept moors of Yorkshire. A testament to the skill and beliefs of the original builder.

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