Ancient Monuments

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Three prehistoric carved rocks on Goldsborough Rigg, Cotherstone Moor, 860m SSE Pitcher House

A Scheduled Monument in Cotherstone, County Durham

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.5546 / 54°33'16"N

Longitude: -2.0678 / 2°4'3"W

OS Eastings: 395714.208514

OS Northings: 517704.629569

OS Grid: NY957177

Mapcode National: GBR GH0S.42

Mapcode Global: WHB4B.6SL8

Entry Name: Three prehistoric carved rocks on Goldsborough Rigg, Cotherstone Moor, 860m SSE Pitcher House

Scheduled Date: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016598

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31789

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Cotherstone

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Details

The monument includes three prehistoric carved rocks on Goldsborough Rigg,
overlooking Goldsborough Carr, Cotherstone Moor.
The easternmost rock measures 2.3m by 1.9m by 0.3m high, and has many cups,
at least six of them with rings, and several grooves.
The middle rock is 7m to the west and is mainly covered by turf. The visible
part measures 0.7m by 0.4m by 0.15m high. The carving consists of at least one
cup under the turf.
The westernmost rock is partly covered by turf. It is level with the ground
and the visible part measures 0.7m by 0.5m. The carving is partly obscured by
the turf, and consists of at least five cups, at least one of which has a
ring, and at least one groove.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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
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 carvings on the three rocks on Goldsborough Rigg, Cotherstone Moor, 860m
SSE of Pitcher House survive well and they are some of several carved rocks in
the Goldsborough area. They will therefore contribute to the study of
prehistoric carved rocks.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Beckensall, S and Laurie, T , Prehistoric Rock Art of County Durham Swaledale and Wensleydale, forthcoming
Beckensall, S and Laurie, T , Prehistoric Rock Art of County Durham Swaledale and Wensleydale, forthcoming
Beckensall, S and Laurie, T , Prehistoric Rock Art of County Durham Swaledale and Wensleydale, forthcoming
Beckensall, S and Laurie, T , Prehistoric Rock Art of County Durham Swaledale and Wensleydale, forthcoming

Source: Historic England

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