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Rock art on Amersidelaw, 290m north west of Drakestruther Moss

A Scheduled Monument in Chatton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5366 / 55°32'11"N

Longitude: -1.8735 / 1°52'24"W

OS Eastings: 408083.27

OS Northings: 626991.06

OS Grid: NU080269

Mapcode National: GBR H4CF.63

Mapcode Global: WHC0X.634F

Entry Name: Rock art on Amersidelaw, 290m north west of Drakestruther Moss

Scheduled Date: 6 March 2014

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1417941

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Chatton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Chatton with Chillingham

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


Prehistoric rock art comprising two panels of Neolithic/early Bronze Age date (approximately 3800 BC to 1500 BC).

Source: Historic England


Principal elements: rock art comprising two panels of Neolithic/early Bronze Age date (approximately 3800 BC to 1500 BC).

Description: two panels of a total of four, situated on Amersidelaw, a peninsular-like projection of the main Fell Sandstone Group ridge to the west; it is roughly flat-topped with steep slopes to the north, west and south with the rock art panels found above the slopes. The ground falls away more gently to the east, before rising to the main ridge.

The first panel (ERA 730) occupies an exposed area of bedrock and is about 1m square; the unusual motif consists of a rectangular groove 0.66 x 0.5 m, enclosing an almost square groove, which is truncated by a lower bedding plane on the north east corner. Within the square, are four clear cups which appear to be joined by grooves forming a ‘tree of life’ pattern connected to the square. Between the square and outer rectangular groove are what are thought to be two further cups. The second panel (ERA 200) lies about 1m south west and is on a slightly higher bedding plane; the motifs here consist of two curving grooves, utilising a natural ridge on the stone, to enclose five cups linked by linear grooves. There appears to be a break between the two curving grooves on the eastern side. Two areas of natural pitting are to the east of the carving. A circular carving identified by Beckensall lies to the south east beneath vegetation.

Extent of scheduling: circular with a diameter of 10m to enclose the full extent of both panels and the surrounding archaeologically sensitive areas.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The prehistoric rock art 290m north west of Drakestruther Moss is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: despite their susceptibility to natural weathering, these rock art panels are reasonably well preserved and the motifs are clearly defined;
* Documentation: ritual and religious sites of Prehistoric Britain are without contemporary documentation and hence the value of the archaeological remains as our only evidence of their belief systems is enhanced;
* Potential: these are unusual rectangular and curving motifs, which will contribute to our knowledge of prehistoric society through their individual study and through an increased understanding of the circumstances in which rock art was created and used;
* Group value: this is one of four panels identified on Amersidelaw, which taken as a group, will enhance both our understanding of the inter-relationships between individual panels, and their relationship to the wider landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Beckensall, S, Prehistoric Rock Motifs of Northumberland Volume 1, (1991), 51; 57
Beckensall, S, Northumberland's Prehistoric Rock Carvings: A Mystery Explained , (1983), 163-66
Mazel, et al (eds), Art as Metaphor: The Prehistoric Rock-Art of Britain, (2007)
, accessed from
Northumberland HER ID: 3436, 3437,3438,

Source: Historic England

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