Intensive investigations recording the ancient rock carvings on Rombalds Moor will get under way with a day aiming to get more of the community involved.

The CSI: Rombalds Moor project, managed by rural regeneration enterprise Pennine Prospects, plans to work on recording vital information about the moor’s world-famous rock carvings, with the help of the wider community.

The moor’s ancient remains, such as the Twelve Apostles stone circle, the Swastika Stone and cup-and-ring carvings, are known to archaeologists worldwide, as well as the many walkers who visit the moor.

The project will be launched in Ilkley with workshops by experts and a guided walk to archaeological sites on Saturday, November 6.

Among the speakers will be community archaeologist Gavin Edwards, known to many Ilkley people for his work at the town’s Manor House museum and art gallery, and English Heritage’s head of metric survey, Paul Bryan.

The scheme is part of the larger Watershed Landscape project, which won almost £2 million of lottery funding earlier this year to restore the landscape and heritage of the south Pennines uplands.

A team of consultants has been selected to lead the prehistoric carved rocks project on the moor. In addition to making and filing written records, it will involved photographing the rocks to create 3D images.

The workshop and launch of the project on November 6 will give more local people a chance to learn about the project – and register their interest in being involved.

Pennine Prospects said: “Over the coming months a series of training sessions covering surveying, recording and photographic techniques will be organised for community volunteers to learn how best they can help undertake the work over the next three years.

“The project will also aim to ensure that the skills and knowledge gained during this time will then allow the work to continue and develop after the project has come to an end.”

The project launch and workshop will take place at Church House, next to All Saints Parish Church, Church Street. The event will be open for registration and refreshments between 9 and 9.45am.

Among the talks will be a discussion putting global and British rock art in context; information on the history and aims of rock art recording; techniques of making 3D recordings; and a talk on England’s rock art website and database.

Similar projects to record details of ancient rock art have already taken place in Northumberland and County Durham. It is hoped that the involvement of experts who worked on these will prove an asset in establishing a unique record of the archaeological remains on Rombalds Moor.

A guided walk to local sites, to discuss conservation and management of rock art will take place between 1.30 and 4.30pm.

Anyone interested in taking part is asked to email Gavin Edwards in advance at or leave a message at the Manor House Museum in Castle Yard, Ilkley, telephone 01943 600066.