Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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The Binn, cup marks and carved crosses 300m ESE of Silverbarton

A Scheduled Monument in Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0691 / 56°4'8"N

Longitude: -3.2424 / 3°14'32"W

OS Eastings: 322753

OS Northings: 686948

OS Grid: NT227869

Mapcode National: GBR 26.PPJQ

Mapcode Global: WH6S0.5Q86

Entry Name: The Binn, cup marks and carved crosses 300m ESE of Silverbarton

Scheduled Date: 2 February 2004

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10987

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross-incised stone; Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cupmarks or cup-and

Location: Burntisland

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy

Traditional County: Fife


The monument consists of number of outcropping masses of bedrock on which a dense cluster of cup-and-ring and cup marks and a number of cross marks have been carved. The cup-and-ring and cup marks are currently thought to date to the earlier Bronze Age, while cross marks are likely to date to the Early Christian or earlier Medieval periods.

The outcrops of bedrock occur on a steep, unnamed, NW to N facing slope on the western extremity of the ridge known as The Binn, inland from Burntisland at a height of approximately 130m OD. The cup-and-ring markings occur on a prominent angular outcrop of sandstone, facing NW, and have been carved on three rock surfaces within an area of approximately 5m diameter. The cross marking are more dispersed and occur singly on much less prominent exposures of rock. The cup-and-ring marks consist of a single finely sculptured example with three penannular rings around the cup, at least 4 cup marks encircled by single rings and approximately 22 cup marks. The three-ringed cup-and-ring mark is located on a small shelf of rock sheltered and overhung by a projecting mass of bedrock. Beside it are two cup-like marks but these may represent eroded mineral inclusions within the bedrock. The rest of the cup-marks and cup-and-ring marks lie on the upper surfaces of two adjacent blocks. The densely carved upper surface of the larger of these two blocks measures 2.6m NE-SW by 1.2m transversely.

The larger of the cross carvings lies approximately 4.5m NE of the cluster of cup-and-ring marks on an exposure of sandstone bedrock that faces NW and tilts down slope. It has been carved with a repeated linear grinding motion producing an equal-armed cross, measuring 0.3m in each direction, with slightly irregular splayed terminals. The cross is aligned NE-SW. A second cross is located at a distance of 27m NNE from the cup-and-ring marks. This second equal-armed cross is situated on the edge of a large irregular rock surface and has been more expertly carved, measuring just 0.1m along each arm. Several other cross marks and other carved marks, mostly single straight grooves or groups of converging grooves, have been noted within the vicinity of the cup-mark cluster but none show the same degree of evidence for purposeful design.

The area to be scheduled is a circle 70m in diameter centred on the three-ringed cup-and-ring mark to include the cluster of cup and cup and ring marks, the group of carved crosses, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a group of prehistoric and Christian carved symbols juxtaposed in unusual proximity and surviving to such a degree that some retain evidence for the process of manufacture.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NT28NW 373.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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