Ancient Monuments

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Cup marked rock 100m north of West Loups's, Cotherstone Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Cotherstone, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.5513 / 54°33'4"N

Longitude: -2.0522 / 2°3'8"W

OS Eastings: 396718.958686

OS Northings: 517340.682871

OS Grid: NY967173

Mapcode National: GBR GH3T.H8

Mapcode Global: WHB4B.FVZS

Entry Name: Cup marked rock 100m north of West Loups's, Cotherstone Moor

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018326

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31786

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Cotherstone

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham


The monument includes a large slab of rock with a prehistoric carving. It is
situated 100m north of West Loups's, about 11m north of a wall. The rock
measures approximately 5m by 4m by 1m high. The carving consists of at least
eight cups, which are eroded. There are also natural erosion marks on the

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 100m north of West 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

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