Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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A rock with three grooves and five cups with rings, in Scale Knoll Allotment, 800m WSW of Haythwaite, Barningham Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Hope, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.475 / 54°28'29"N

Longitude: -1.9244 / 1°55'27"W

OS Eastings: 404993.406044

OS Northings: 508846.578691

OS Grid: NZ049088

Mapcode National: GBR HJ0P.5M

Mapcode Global: WHB4S.DST9

Entry Name: A rock with three grooves and five cups with rings, in Scale Knoll Allotment, 800m WSW of Haythwaite, Barningham Moor

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017409

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30460

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Hope

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Barningham St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a carved sandstone rock, partly covered in vegetation.
The visible part measures 0.6m by 0.6m by 0.3m high. It is situated on
Barningham Moor, in the modern sheep-grazing enclosure known as Scale Knoll
Allotment. The monument is on level ground near the end of a promontory,
800m WSW of Haythwaite. An accurate National Grid Reference is NZ 04990
The carving consists of five cups, each with one ring, three of the cups with
a groove descending from the cup.

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 the rock 800m WSW of Haythwaite survives well and forms an
important part of the prehistoric landscape of Barningham Moor, which includes
numerous other prehistoric carved rocks and evidence for prehistoric burials,
settlements, and the agricultural use of the land. This site will therefore
contribute to studies of such prehistoric landscapes and the changing patterns
of land use over time.

Source: Historic England

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