Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cup, ring and groove marked rock known as the Fertility Stone in wall 110m north of Eastwoods Farm, Dacre Banks

A Scheduled Monument in Dacre, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0556 / 54°3'20"N

Longitude: -1.718 / 1°43'4"W

OS Eastings: 418554.607808

OS Northings: 462224.345731

OS Grid: SE185622

Mapcode National: GBR JPFJ.VX

Mapcode Global: WHC84.LB36

Entry Name: Cup, ring and groove marked rock known as the Fertility Stone in wall 110m north of Eastwoods Farm, Dacre Banks

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014979

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29109

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Dacre

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes a carved gritstone rock, partly obscured by tree roots
and a wall. The visible part measures 1.2m x 0.9m x 0.3m. It is situated at
Dacre Banks, north of Eastwoods Farm. It is in a gap in a field wall which
runs approximately south west-north east. It is 40m along the wall from the
west corner of the field. An accurate National Grid Reference is SE 18552
The carving consists of cups, rings and grooves. The rings and grooves are
mostly shallow and indistinct. The carvings on the exposed west side of the
rock are less distinct than those on the east side, which are protected by the
wall and the tree roots.

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 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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