Ancient Monuments

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Standing stone with cup markings 270m north west of Newtown Mill

A Scheduled Monument in Lilburn, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.5117 / 55°30'41"N

Longitude: -1.9331 / 1°55'59"W

OS Eastings: 404321.061117

OS Northings: 624212.091153

OS Grid: NU043242

Mapcode National: GBR G4YQ.81

Mapcode Global: WH9ZR.8QQK

Entry Name: Standing stone with cup markings 270m north west of Newtown Mill

Scheduled Date: 4 April 1951

Last Amended: 27 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014925

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29302

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Lilburn

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Chatton with Chillingham

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric standing stone situated at the foot of the
southern slopes of Ewe Hill. It is roughly rectangular in cross section,
measures a maximum 0.6m by 0.45m wide and stands 1.3m high. It is deeply
weathered with vertical grooves on the west side. There are two possible cup
marks linked by a shallow groove on the south side and a single cup mark on
the north side.

MAP EXTRACT
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

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates
ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few
excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs,
ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often
conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can
be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round
barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included
stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth
containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds.
Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones,
which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and
ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways,
territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show
they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual
monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and
domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing
stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant
examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in
Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds.
Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high
longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late
Neolithic and Bronze Age. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and
those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be
considered to be of national importance.

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'. Other shapes and patterns also occur, but are less frequent. 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 is unknown, but they may be interpreted as sacred or
religious symbols. The symbols are also found on portable stones placed
directly next to burials or incorporated in burial mounds and on other classes
of monuments such as standing stones. 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.
The standing stone north west of Newtown Mill survives well and is an
undisturbed example of an uncommon feature of the Northumberland landscape.
Its importance is enhanced by the presence of prehistoric rock art carved in
it.

Source: Historic England

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