Ancient Monuments

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Cup and ring marked rock on Cotherstone Moor 520m north west of East Loups's

A Scheduled Monument in Cotherstone, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.5567 / 54°33'24"N

Longitude: -2.0479 / 2°2'52"W

OS Eastings: 396998.982745

OS Northings: 517942.777182

OS Grid: NY969179

Mapcode National: GBR GH4R.FB

Mapcode Global: WHB4B.JQ1M

Entry Name: Cup and ring marked rock on Cotherstone Moor 520m north west of East Loups's

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018323

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31783

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Cotherstone

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham


The monument includes a prehistoric carved rock, partly covered by turf. It is
situated on Cotherstone Moor, north of the wall at East Loups's which divides
the Ministry of Defence Danger Area from Cotherstone Moor. The visible part of
the rock measures 2.1m by 1.2m by 0.23m high. The carving consists of two cups
with faint rings.

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 520m north west of East Loups's survives well and it
is one of several carved rocks in the area of West and East Loups's. It will
therefore contribute to the study of prehistoric carved rocks.

Source: Historic England


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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