Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cup and ring marked rock 16m north west of wall junction, 225m south of Far High Westcliff

A Scheduled Monument in Bewerley, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0685 / 54°4'6"N

Longitude: -1.7561 / 1°45'22"W

OS Eastings: 416056.038213

OS Northings: 463641.003063

OS Grid: SE160636

Mapcode National: GBR JP5D.LB

Mapcode Global: WHC7Y.0Z0X

Entry Name: Cup and ring marked rock 16m north west of wall junction, 225m south of Far High Westcliff

Scheduled Date: 31 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015628

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29147

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Bewerley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes a carved gritstone rock, totally covered by grass,
bracken and leaf mould. It measures 2.1m x 2.1m x 0.3m. It is situated at
Bewerley, in Nought Bank Wood, on the north east side of the wood. It is 16m
north west of a wall junction and 0.7m south west of the wall. An accurate
National Grid Reference is SE 16056 63642.
The carving consists of one cup and ring, one other cup, and a possible cup.
The rock is bisected by a deep modern groove.

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'. 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 forms an important part of the
prehistoric landscape of the area between the Rivers Nidd and Wharfe. The
rock is one of several outliers north of the major concentrations of carved
rocks immediately north of the Wharfe (Middleton, Denton, Askwith Moors).

Source: Historic England

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