Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cup marked rock on Moorsholm Moor, 280m west of Dimmingdale Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Lockwood, Redcar and Cleveland

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Latitude: 54.498 / 54°29'52"N

Longitude: -0.942 / 0°56'31"W

OS Eastings: 468618.901083

OS Northings: 511918.588691

OS Grid: NZ686119

Mapcode National: GBR PJVF.VC

Mapcode Global: WHF8N.H6NM

Entry Name: Cup marked rock on Moorsholm Moor, 280m west of Dimmingdale Farm

Scheduled Date: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018797

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32019

County: Redcar and Cleveland

Civil Parish: Lockwood

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Moorsholm

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a cup marked rock situated on level moorland at the
north edge of the North York Moors. The rock is a small in situ boulder which
is sub-rectangular in shape and measures about 0.75m by 0.3m and stands up to
0.3m high. The horizontal upper surface is decorated with six shallow cup
marks. The long axis of the rock is orientated south west-north east to the
point at the summit of Freebrough Hill, about 800m to the north east.
The cup marked rock lies in an area rich in prehistoric monuments, including
barrows, field systems and clearance cairns.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 3 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.

Despite some weathering of the decoration, the cup marked rock 280m west of
Dimmingdale Farm survives well and has not been disturbed. On the North York
Moors cup and ring marked stones are found largely within round barrows. This
cup marked rock is one of only a few decorated in situ boulders to be found in
an open moorland situation. It is situated in a group of monuments which also
includes an enclosed cremation cemetery, round barrows, a further cup marked
rock, clearance cairns and a stone hut circle. Monument groupings such as
these offer important scope for the study of the distribution of prehistoric
activity across the landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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