Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cup marked stone 370m NNW of north corner of Folly Plantation

A Scheduled Monument in Gayles, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4479 / 54°26'52"N

Longitude: -1.8181 / 1°49'5"W

OS Eastings: 411893.89747

OS Northings: 505851.123033

OS Grid: NZ118058

Mapcode National: GBR HKR0.59

Mapcode Global: WHC65.1GJH

Entry Name: Cup marked stone 370m NNW of north corner of Folly Plantation

Scheduled Date: 7 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014340

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27943

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Gayles

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kirkby Ravensworth

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a cup marked stone situated in open moorland on level
ground 80m south east of the field wall which runs north east to south west
across Feldom Rigg. It consists of a flat roughly triangular slab of grey
sandstone, 1.1m by 0.8m wide. The upper surface of the stone is decorated with
approximately 11 cup marks with diameters of up to 5cm. Its grid reference by
Global Positioning System is NZ1189305850. The monument is one of a group of
prehistoric carved stones on Gayles Moor. It is also situated in the immediate
vicinity of a ring cairn. The ring cairn is the subject of a separate

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 its original location
and it is one of a group of prehistoric carved stones in close association
with a ring cairn. It will also contribute to an understanding of the wider
grouping of these stones.

Source: Historic England


Laurie, T,

Source: Historic England

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