Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Small rock with four cup marks and a large hewn rock with one cupmark on Foldshaw Ridge 830m ESE of Wards End, Middleton Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Nesfield with Langbar, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9609 / 53°57'39"N

Longitude: -1.8292 / 1°49'45"W

OS Eastings: 411302.478079

OS Northings: 451661.045193

OS Grid: SE113516

Mapcode National: GBR HQNM.SW

Mapcode Global: WHC8G.WP3V

Entry Name: Small rock with four cup marks and a large hewn rock with one cupmark on Foldshaw Ridge 830m ESE of Wards End, Middleton Moor

Scheduled Date: 30 April 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014154

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28019

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Nesfield with Langbar

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Ilkley All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes two carved gritstone rocks, one of them small and partly
covered in vegetation. The visible part of the small north eastern rock
(accurate NGR SE1130751662) measures 0.7m by 0.5m by 0.1m with carvings of
four cup marks forming a rectangle.
The south western rock (accurate NGR SE1130351657) is large, hewn and
conspicuous, measuring 1.7m by 0.96m by 1.3m. A single cup mark is carved near
the hewn edge.
They are situated near the grouse butts on Foldshaw Ridge, Middleton Moor.

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.

The carving on this rock survives well and forms part of the prehistoric
landscape of Middleton Moor.

Source: Historic England

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