Ancient Monuments

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Cup, ring and groove marked rock 80m south west of Druid's Cave Farm

A Scheduled Monument in High and Low Bishopside, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0786 / 54°4'42"N

Longitude: -1.6897 / 1°41'22"W

OS Eastings: 420398.961628

OS Northings: 464783.387932

OS Grid: SE203647

Mapcode National: GBR JPM8.ZP

Mapcode Global: WHC7Z.0RN5

Entry Name: Cup, ring and groove marked rock 80m south west of Druid's Cave Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014974

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29104

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: High and Low Bishopside

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes a carved gritstone rock, 3.2m x 2.2m x 0.9m. It is
situated west of Brimham Rocks, in a field south of the track between High
Wood Farm and Druid's Cave Farm. It is 0.7m from the north wall of the field,
and 29m north west of the east corner of the field. An accurate National Grid
Reference is SE 20397 64782.
The carving consists of c.21 cups, one of which is enclosed by a ring. Several
other cups are in groups enclosed by grooves. There are also several other
grooves, including two which are long, sinuous, and approximately parallel.

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.

The carving on this rock survives well and it is one of a number of carved
rocks in the Brimham and Pateley Bridge areas which form outlying groups from
the denser concentrations of carved rocks further south.

Source: Historic England

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