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Rock art on Weetwood Moor, 1km south of Clavering

A Scheduled Monument in Chatton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5475 / 55°32'50"N

Longitude: -1.966 / 1°57'57"W

OS Eastings: 402245.551672

OS Northings: 628198.586853

OS Grid: NU022281

Mapcode National: GBR G4Q9.56

Mapcode Global: WH9ZJ.ST0L

Entry Name: Rock art on Weetwood Moor, 1km south of Clavering

Scheduled Date: 6 March 2014

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1415509

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Chatton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Wooler St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


Rock art comprising at least 26 panels on sandstone outcrops, of Neolithic/early Bronze Age date (approximately 3800 BC to 1500 BC).

Source: Historic England


Principal elements: Prehistoric rock art comprising at least 26 sandstone panels, of Neolithic/early Bronze Age date (approximately 3800 BC to 1500 BC).

Description: at least 26 sandstone outcrops are visible, inscribed with prehistoric rock art motifs, but it is considered that further rock art remains buried in and around the exposed outcrops. The rock art under assessment here has traditionally been separated into five main groups; the individual panels are not described in detail here, and reference should be made to the online database England's Rock Art (ERA) incorporating the Beckensall Archive.

The first and most northerly group comprises six separate sites (ERA 129-30; 133-36), all are on sloping sandstone outcrops and two have natural fissures and cracks. Recorded motifs include single cups, some with penannulars and ducts and some linked together by grooves; a particularly unusual motif comprises four individual cups linked together by a cross-shaped groove. One of the rocks is recorded as having very clear pick marks visible.

The second group situated immediately south west of the first, comprises thirteen separate panels (ERA 132,138-40,143,145-7,149-50,152-4); all are on slightly sloping sites, mostly with natural cracks and fissures. Recorded motifs are generally individual cups and cups with penannulars or multiple rings and arcs and some have linear grooves. One rock has a circular cluster of twelve small cupmarks and another has a deeply incised cup with a squared off ring.

The third group lies to the north west of the second group and comprises two separate outcrops. The first (ERA 142) has a horizontal and smooth surface and may have been specially selected for a complex series of motifs; it has natural cracks running north to south and the pick markings are clear. The eastern side of the rock has three motifs set in a line comprising a cup and duct and five penannulars at the south end; the duct continues to join the outer circle of a cup surrounded by a ring and three penannulars immediately to its north; the latter also has a duct aligned eastward. A faint groove links the motif with the third and largest motif, a large cup with five penannulars which flatten out at the north. A serpentine groove from the central cup of this motif bends to the west to join with a similar groove emanating from the central cup of a fourth motif surrounded by a ring and three penannulars. To the east of the largest figure is a small cup with a duct running SE, and two penannulars. A fifth motif comprises a cup at the centre of two rings. Immediately to the east of the linear grouping of three motifs there is a cup with groove surrounded by two penannulars, and at least two small cups and other cups are thought to be present. The second outcrop (ERA 137) contains a clear cup and ring with a partial outer ring.

The fourth group is situated to the west of the third, and comprises five separate outcrops (ERA 141, 148, 151, 158 & 144). Each outcrop bears the remains of a small number of motifs comprising simple small cups, cups with single rings and sometimes with grooves, penannulars or arcs; one large cup and ring motif appears to have the faint traces of a second ring.

The fifth site situated slightly north of the fourth group, comprises a single large outcrop (ERA 127). Eleven single cups are scattered across the rock surface, which also contains a complex of large motifs comprising a cup with groove and a penannular, four cups with grooves and multiple penannulars and a multiple arc.

Extent of scheduling: this is irregular in shape and is defined to incorporate all positively identified panels. It measures approximately 100m N-S by 210m E-W at its greatest extent as depicted in the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The prehistoric rock art on Weetwood Moor 1 km south of Clavering is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: despite their susceptibility to natural weathering, the panels are reasonably well preserved;
* Documentation: ritual and religious sites of Prehistoric Britain including rock art are relatively scarce and lack contemporary documentation, hence the value of the archaeological remains is enhanced as they provide our only evidence of the belief system and society which produced them;
* Diversity: a wide variety of motifs are represented ranging from the more common forms such as cups and rings through to more unusual motifs or complex groupings of motifs;
* Potential: these survivals will contribute to our knowledge of prehistoric society through study of the individual motifs and through an increased understanding of the circumstances in which rock art was created and the sites used;
* Group value: taken as a group, they will enhance both our understanding of the inter-relationships between individual panels and their relationship to the wider landscape. The panels lie in the vicinity of nearby scheduled prehistoric rock art at Weetwood and Fowberry.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Beckensall, S, Northumberland's Prehistoric Rock Carvings: A Mystery Explained , (1983), 109-121
Mazel, et al (eds), Art as Metaphor: The Prehistoric Rock-Art of Britain, (2007)
Newbiggin, E R, 'Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne Ser 4 6(2)' in The Incised Rocks of Doddington District, (1933), 68-71
, accessed from

Source: Historic England

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