Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cup marked stone on Stainton Moor above White Bog

A Scheduled Monument in Ellerton Abbey, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3571 / 54°21'25"N

Longitude: -1.8769 / 1°52'36"W

OS Eastings: 408096.276748

OS Northings: 495740.578636

OS Grid: SE080957

Mapcode National: GBR HLB1.GV

Mapcode Global: WHC6J.4RH3

Entry Name: Cup marked stone on Stainton Moor above White Bog

Scheduled Date: 4 July 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012610

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24536

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Ellerton Abbey

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Downholme and Marske St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


This large irregular shaped stone 2m wide by 1.5m high is situated near
the crest of a south east facing slope. This slope defines the parish boundary
of Ellerton Abbey with Stainton and the stone has been reused as a boundary
marker. From this point there are extensive views across upper and lower
Swaledale and Arkengarthdale. About 20 cup marks with diameters of
approximately 0.5m have been carved into an area on the upper surface of the
stone in a concentrated group. On the north face of the stone the letters `ED'
have been carved, these are believed to represent the name of Erle Drax who
was a prominent local land owner.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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'. 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 (2800-c.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.

This is a well preserved cup marked stone, surviving in a prominent position
and later reused as a boundary stone.

Source: Historic England


Laurie, T, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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