Ancient Monuments

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Small cairnfield with carved rocks north of the plantation on Weston Moor centred 730m north west of Weston Moor Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Weston, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9428 / 53°56'34"N

Longitude: -1.7209 / 1°43'15"W

OS Eastings: 418420.182142

OS Northings: 449669.441114

OS Grid: SE184496

Mapcode National: GBR JQFV.7C

Mapcode Global: WHC8Q.J5R6

Entry Name: Small cairnfield with carved rocks north of the plantation on Weston Moor centred 730m north west of Weston Moor Cottage

Scheduled Date: 31 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014306

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28066

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Weston

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Weston All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a cairnfield with four to five small cairns, and four
carved rocks. They are situated on Weston Moor, north of a rectangular
plantation. The cairns are 1m-4m in diameter, and all have been subject to
extensive stone robbing. They may have been larger originally, but are
unlikely to have exceeded 5m in diameter. The denuded condition of these
cairns, and of others on Weston Moor, suggests that there may have been many
more cairns on this moor before enclosure and `improvement'.
The carved rocks mostly have simple carvings of two to four cups, with the
exception of the rock known as Greystone Rock, which has a complex cup and
ring design.

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

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one
another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone
cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture,
and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots.
However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without
excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials.
Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC),
although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance
which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze
Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size,
content and associations of cairnfields provide important information on the
development of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the
prehistoric period.

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 exhibiting a significant group of designs
will normally be identified as nationally important.
Although disturbed by stone clearing, this cairnfield retains evidence of its
form, location and distribution, and any burials placed within it. It is an
important part of the prehistoric landscape of Weston Moor, and particularly
important as part of the context of the carved rocks.
The carvings on these rocks survive well and they form part of the prehistoric
landscape of Weston Moor.

Source: Historic England

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