Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cup and ring marked rocks on Wandylaw Moor, 1km west of Wandylaw

A Scheduled Monument in Adderstone with Lucker, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5194 / 55°31'9"N

Longitude: -1.7827 / 1°46'57"W

OS Eastings: 413816.585877

OS Northings: 625091.454282

OS Grid: NU138250

Mapcode National: GBR H4ZM.V8

Mapcode Global: WHC0Y.LJ9M

Entry Name: Cup and ring marked rocks on Wandylaw Moor, 1km west of Wandylaw

Scheduled Date: 26 September 1967

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006560

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 156

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Adderstone with Lucker

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Ellingham St Maurice

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a group of cup and ring marked rocks of Late Neolithic/Bronze Age date, situated on a gentle north east facing slope on Wandylaw Moor. The group includes at least four rocks incised predominantly with cup marks. Unusually, one of the rocks is located within a stream. All of the rocks have multiple motifs with the largest group being a rock with two cup and ring marks and 12 midget cups.

PastScape Monument No:- 7350
Northumberland HER:- 4904
Northumberland Rock Art (Beckensall Archive):- Wandylaw group

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Prehistoric rock art is found on natural rock outcrops in many areas of upland Britain. It is especially common in the north of England in Northumberland, Durham and North and West Yorkshire. The most common form of decoration is the `cup and ring' marking where expanses of small cup-like hollows are pecked into the surface of the rock. These cups may be surrounded by one or more `rings'. Single pecked lines extending from the cup through the `rings' may also exist, providing the design with a `tail'. Pecked lines or grooves can also exist in isolation from cup and ring decoration. Other shapes and patterns also occur, but are less frequent. Carvings may occur singly, in small groups, or may cover extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods (c.2800-500 BC) and provide one of our most important insights into prehistoric `art'. The exact meaning of the designs remains unknown, but they may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols. Frequently they are found close to contemporary burial monuments and the symbols are also found on portable stones placed directly next to burials or incorporated in burial mounds. Around 800 examples of prehistoric rock art have been recorded in England. This is unlikely to be a realistic reflection of the number carved in prehistory. Many will have been overgrown or destroyed in activities such as quarrying. All positively identified prehistoric rock art sites exhibiting a significant group of designs will normally be identified as nationally important.
The cup and ring marked rocks on Wandylaw Moor survive well. One of these rocks is located in the unusual setting of a stream. The monument is a good example of its type and provides insight into the nature and expression of prehistoric rock art and its relationship to its landscape setting.

Source: Historic England

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