Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cammon Stone standing stone on Rudland Rigg 1030m NNE of Cockan Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Bransdale, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3914 / 54°23'29"N

Longitude: -1.0369 / 1°2'12"W

OS Eastings: 462637.731871

OS Northings: 499978.349282

OS Grid: SE626999

Mapcode National: GBR PK6N.BK

Mapcode Global: WHF90.1WJB

Entry Name: Cammon Stone standing stone on Rudland Rigg 1030m NNE of Cockan Cross

Scheduled Date: 5 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019520

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32700

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Bransdale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kirkbymoorside All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a prehistoric standing stone and an adjacent recumbent
stone along with associated buried deposits. It is located 1.6km north east of
the hamlet of Cockayne, on the spine of Rudland Rigg overlooking the head of
Bransdale. It stands 5m to the west of an unmetalled byway known as Westside
Road, which runs down the spine of Rudland Rigg. This is thought to be an old
established route over the North York Moors which was recognised as a road in
the medieval period.
The standing stone, which is listed Grade II, is an undressed irregular slab
with a heavily weathered upper surface. From it there are impressive views
down the length of Bransdale to the south, from much of which the stone will
be visible as a small feature against the skyline. Cammon Stone is also
intervisible with the prominent group of Bronze Age round barrows known as
Three Howes nearly 2km to the SSE. The stone leans slightly to the west and
stands 1.4m above the surrounding ground surface. At its base it measures 0.8m
by 0.3m broadening to just over 1m by 0.4m at around 0.7m above the ground. It
is orientated so that its two larger faces point to the east and west. The
stone has three sets of inscriptions: on the west face, clearly visible to
people walking south east along Westside Road, there are six Hebrew characters
spelling the word halleluiah. This is reputed to have been inscribed by the
Reverend W Strickland, Vicar of Ingleby, in the 19th century. On the east face
there is a rough, faint inscription with the figures 1.7 above a mainly
indecipherable word of around 5 letters, the next to last being a W; and
finally, near the base on the south face there is an Ordnance Survey bench
mark symbol. All three sets of inscriptions are covered in lichen growth and
are thus not thought to be recent. Excavations of standing stones elsewhere
have shown that they often formed the focus for prehistoric cremation burials
and other ritualistic deposits placed in pits and hollows. The monument thus
includes an additional 4m margin to protect any buried archaeological remains
associated with the standing stone.
Due east of the standing stone there is a second irregular slab of rock lying
on the ground. This measures 2.7m east-west, 1.5m north-south and is at least
0.3m thick. It is slightly inclined so that its western end, nearest the
standing stone, is higher than its eastern end. This western end comes to a
rounded point which appears to point at the base of the standing stone which
is 1.5m further to the west. The recumbent stone is considered to be either a
second standing stone which has fallen some time in the past, or to be a
naturally placed slab which nonetheless functioned as part of the original
monument, acting as a focus for ritual or ceremonial activity. Thus the 4m
margin is also extended around the outside of this stone to protect any
associated buried deposits.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 4 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates
ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few
excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs,
ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often
conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can
be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round
barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included
stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth
containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds.
Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones,
which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and
ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways,
territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show
they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual
monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and
domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing
stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant
examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in
Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds.
Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high
longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late
Neolithic and Bronze Age. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and
those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be
considered to be of national importance.

Cammon Stone is a good example of a prehistoric standing stone. Its three
inscriptions and the adjacent recumbent stone add to its interest. It
continues to function as a landmark along a route over the moors, a role that
it has fulfilled for many centuries.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 47

Source: Historic England

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