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Prehistoric rock art, 150m south west of Nook End

A Scheduled Monument in Lakes, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.4393 / 54°26'21"N

Longitude: -2.9667 / 2°58'0"W

OS Eastings: 337398.008538

OS Northings: 505305.418538

OS Grid: NY373053

Mapcode National: GBR 7KQ3.JD

Mapcode Global: WH826.DPJ4

Entry Name: Prehistoric rock art, 150m south west of Nook End

Scheduled Date: 22 October 2015

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1424947

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Lakes

Built-Up Area: Ambleside

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Ambleside

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


A rock art panel bearing at least ninety eight cup marks and a complex arrangement of grooves of Neolithic/early Bronze Age date in two distinct groups.

Source: Historic England


PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: a rock art panel bearing at least ninety eight cup marks and a complex arrangement of grooves of Neolithic/early Bronze Age date in two distinct groups.

DESCRIPTION: the rock art is formed on the top surface of an ice-smoothed domed outcrop of the igneous Borrowdale Volcanic Group (BVG); this outcrop has been extensively quarried to the south. The outcrop commands extensive views in all directions, but especially to the west towards the Langdale Pikes axe quarries and to the south west across Lake Windermere. The panel measures about 20m east to west and 20m north to south and bears two groupings of motifs: the first comprises at least ninety cupmarks of which three are oval-shaped and two form a dumbbell motif. The cups are associated by a complex arrangement of groves, some linking cups and others enclosing cups or groups of cups and some linked by serpentine grooves. The second and smaller group lie immediately to the west on the same outcrop and comprise a single cupmark and a small cluster of seven cupmarks.

EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: this is defined as a circle with a radius of 12.5m in order to fully capture the extent of the known rock art and to include a sample of the archaeologically sensitive surrounding ground. The wooden fence poles which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The prehistoric rock art 150m south west of Nook End is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: despite susceptibility to natural weathering, it is reasonably well preserved with the survival of large numbers of reasonably well-defined motifs;
* 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;
* Diversity: the majority of motifs are simple cups associated with grooves and the focus on this individual motif at the expense of a wider variety of motifs contributes to its importance;
* Potential: it will inform our knowledge of prehistoric society through individual study of its motifs and carving style, and through an increased understanding of the circumstances in which rock art was created and used;
* Rarity: this rock art panel unusually occurs on an igneous rock surface within the Lake District; it is one of only a handful so far identified in this region, which emphasises its importance;
* Group value: it is considered that the presence of rock art in Great Langdale and its peripheries might have a significant association with the important Prehistoric Langdale Pikes axe quarries, towards which location this panel commands extensive views.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Beckensall, S, Cumbrian Prehistoric Rock Art: Symbols, Monument & Landscapes, (1992)
Brown, Paul, Brown, Barbara, Prehistoric Rock Art in the Northern Dales, (2008)
Brown, P & B, 'Further Discoveries of Prehistoric Rock Art in Central Lakeland' in CWAAS Newsletter 77; Autumn 2014

Source: Historic England

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