The first Yorkshire folk were from the Palaeolithic era over 10,000 years B.C. These Fred Flintstone characters were able to cross from the continent as the glacial waters of the ice ages melted away and plant and animal life increased to feed the nomads. Evidence of inhabitation and exotic animal bones is found at Victoria Cave near Settle and Kirkdale Cave near Kirkbymoorside in the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire. These cave dwellers were restricted to roughly shaped flint and stone tools and no evidence of permanent settlement has been discovered.
Middle Stone Age Yorkshireman from the Mesolithic age visited via what is now the North Sea possibly from warmer Pyrenees or the Mediterranean about 7500 B.C. Evidence of a brushwood platform for Lake Dwelling remains were found at Star Carr in the Vale of Pickering and there was a camp at Marsden where many arrow shaft flints have been discovered. Flint axes have also been discovered in Calderdale, Blubberhouses, Glaisdale and Wharfedale and scattered on the Cleveland Hills and North Yorkshire Moors.
Neolithic man 3000 B.C. were the first farmers in Yorkshire with both cereal crops and small animal husbanding. Large trees in the fertile valleys were too difficult to clear so much of the farming was done on the tops and valley sides. There are Neolithic sites at Flamborough Head, Hartendale and Beacon Hill. Most evidence comes from the long barrows the burial mounds from Sleights to Kilburn and around Folkton. By 2000 B.C. Duggleby Howe round mound shows evidence of inhumation (interment) and cremation.
Bronze age man probably arrived from the Rhinelands about 1800 B.C. and have been named ‘Beaker Folk’ after the pots they were buried with. Burial mounds at Grassington, Baildon Moor and West Tanfield display an interest in gold and amber and the picture below demonstrates the find at Kellythorpe.