Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Carved rock on Pelstone Crag 530m west of Danefield House

A Scheduled Monument in Otley, Leeds

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Latitude: 53.8955 / 53°53'43"N

Longitude: -1.6838 / 1°41'1"W

OS Eastings: 420878.003501

OS Northings: 444413.293712

OS Grid: SE208444

Mapcode National: GBR JRPD.8B

Mapcode Global: WHC8Y.3CG0

Entry Name: Carved rock on Pelstone Crag 530m west of Danefield House

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016268

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29122

County: Leeds

Civil Parish: Otley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Otley All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a carved portion of gritstone outcrop, at the end of a
quarried face. The carved surface measures 6.5m by 5m. It is situated on Otley
Chevin, at the west end of the quarry, 9m east of a kink in the fence, and 18m
north of the fence.
The carving consists of approximately eight cups, one with two feint rings,
and some grooves. Most of the grooves on this rock are, however, either
natural or modern quarrying lines. There are also some recent and Victorian
graffiti, some of them intruding upon the prehistoric carving.

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 forms an important part of the
prehistoric landscape of the higher ground south of Cluny. The rock is one of
several outliers from the main concentration of carved rocks known as
Rombald's Moor.

Source: Historic England

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