Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Rock with cup, ring and groove marks in the west side of Guisecliff Wood, 420m south east of Far High Westcliff

A Scheduled Monument in Bewerley, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0678 / 54°4'3"N

Longitude: -1.7507 / 1°45'2"W

OS Eastings: 416415.260895

OS Northings: 463565.290083

OS Grid: SE164635

Mapcode National: GBR JP6D.SK

Mapcode Global: WHC84.20MX

Entry Name: Rock with cup, ring and groove marks in the west side of Guisecliff Wood, 420m south east of Far High Westcliff

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014976

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29106

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Bewerley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes a carved gritstone rock, with a flat, slightly tilting
top. It measures 4.2m x 2.6m x 1.6m, and is situated in Bewerley, in
Guisecliff Wood. It is in the west side of the wood, in the angle between a
path and a track leading to Guisecliff Tarn. The rock is 12m north of the
path, and 28m along the footpath from the junction with the track. An accurate
National Grid Reference is SE 16415 63565.
The carving consists of a complex pattern of cups, rings and grooves. A
particularly distinctive carving is located just east of the centre of the
rock; this consists of a number of grooves forming a tree-like shape. The
branches of this end in cups, and the design is enclosed by a rectangular

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'. 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.

The carving on this rock survives well and the rock is one of a number of
carved rocks south of the River Nidd between Bewerley and Glasshouses.

Source: Historic England

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