Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Gritstone pillar with three cup marks in the north pavement of the A65 at Horsforth, 440m south east of the roundabout at Low Fold

A Scheduled Monument in Horsforth, Leeds

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Latitude: 53.8325 / 53°49'57"N

Longitude: -1.6458 / 1°38'44"W

OS Eastings: 423411.017494

OS Northings: 437419.527188

OS Grid: SE234374

Mapcode National: GBR JSY3.HW

Mapcode Global: WHC94.PXHT

Entry Name: Gritstone pillar with three cup marks in the north pavement of the A65 at Horsforth, 440m south east of the roundabout at Low Fold

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014973

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29103

County: Leeds

Civil Parish: Horsforth

Built-Up Area: Horsforth

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Horsforth St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a carved gritstone rock, in the form of a triangular-
sectioned pillar, measuring 0.6m x 0.34m x 0.77m. It is situated in the north
pavement of the A65 at Horsforth, c.445m towards Leeds from the ring road
roundabout. It is outside house number 142 on this road. An accurate National
Grid Reference is SE 23410 37419. The rock is not thought to be in an original
location and the history of its current location is unknown.
The carving consists of three cups on the top of the pillar. The sides of the
pillar are dressed, and there is also a benchmark. The exact date at which the
sides of the pillar were dressed is unknown, although this is likely to have
occurred during the last 200 years. The pavement surfacing and the kerbstones
are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is

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

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'. Pecked lines or grooves can
also exist in isolation from cup and ring decoration. 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
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.

Despite the dressing of the sides of this stone and uncertainty about its
original location, the carvings on this rock survive well and will contribute
to study of such carved rocks in this region.

Source: Historic England

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