Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cup marked rock and cairn near path 775m ESE of Blackhill House, Middleton Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Nesfield with Langbar, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9588 / 53°57'31"N

Longitude: -1.8352 / 1°50'6"W

OS Eastings: 410908.802596

OS Northings: 451419.64702

OS Grid: SE109514

Mapcode National: GBR HQMN.GN

Mapcode Global: WHC8G.SR8J

Entry Name: Cup marked rock and cairn near path 775m ESE of Blackhill House, Middleton Moor

Scheduled Date: 8 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014162

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28004

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 a carved gritstone rock and a small cairn. The rock is
3.1m by 1.4m by 0.8m. An accurate NGR for the rock is SE1089851420. It has a
carving consisting of two cup marks.
The cairn lying c.7m to the east of the cup marked rock is c.8m in diameter
and includes an approximately circular spread of stone surrounding a single
large rock. The large rock is c.1.5m high, but the remainder of the cairn
material barely protrudes above ground level.
The cairn and carved rock are situated to the east of the path from Dryas Dike
to Long Ridge on Middleton Moor.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or
multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined
compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch.
Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the
modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are
the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide
important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.

Prehistoric rock carving is found on natural boulders and 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' marking, where small cup-like hollows are worked
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 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. All positively
identified prehistoric rock carvings sites will normally be identified as
nationally important.
This monument includes a carved rock and a cairn. The carvings on the rock
survive well. The cairn has been disturbed in the past but still retains
evidence of its form and location and any burials placed within it. Together
they form part of the prehistoric landscape on Middleton Moor.

Source: Historic England

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