Ancient Monuments

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Hunter’s Craig or Eagle Rock, rock carving, Dalmeny

A Scheduled Monument in Almond, City of Edinburgh

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.983 / 55°58'58"N

Longitude: -3.3085 / 3°18'30"W

OS Eastings: 318451

OS Northings: 677443

OS Grid: NT184774

Mapcode National: GBR 24.W0N2

Mapcode Global: WH6SC.4WR7

Entry Name: Hunter’s Craig or Eagle Rock, rock carving, Dalmeny

Scheduled Date: 26 November 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13612

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cupmarks or cup-and-ring marks and similar rock art

Location: Dalmeny

County: City of Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Almond

Traditional County: West Lothian

Description

The monument is a carving on a natural rock outcrop, dating probably to the Roman occupation of parts of Scotland (between about AD 71 and 213). Within a niche in the rock outcrop's near vertical E face, the rock has been carved to show an upright figure in relief, now much worn. The rock carving is located on the foreshore of the Forth Estuary, about 3m above sea level, facing ESE along a narrow beach towards the point where the River Almond flows into the Forth. The Roman fort at Cramond lies some 800m to the SE.

The niche that frames the carving is about 0.85m high, 0.73m wide and 0.25m deep, and the figure stands out about 110mm in relief. Because the carving is very worn, precise characterisation and identification of the figure is difficult. The figure has traditionally been identified as an eagle, but modern researchers view the carving as a Genius (the spirit of a person or place). It is suggested that the figure probably has a cornucopia (horn of plenty) in the crook of the left arm, and a patera (bowl) in the right hand, over an altar. It may be wearing a mural crown, though this is not clear. Below is a rectangular panel that may have been intended to bear an inscription. Although the carving is worn, its overall character and position close to Cramond Roman Fort and the Forth river crossing make its attribution to the Roman period convincing.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling includes the immediate rock outcrop on which the carving lies. The monument was first scheduled in 1921; the present amendment provides documents to modern standards.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument has significant potential to enhance our understanding and appreciation of the Roman presence on the S shore of the Forth. It has particular potential to expand our understanding of how the Romans interacted with the Forth Estuary and its landscape, and commemorated spirits, gods or events. This type of Roman carving on rock is very rare or unknown in Scotland, and very rare more widely in the British Isles. It remains a striking piece of visible evidence for Roman activity here and complements the significant Roman remains at Cramond. It would have been an important part of the historic landscape, particularly because of its position close to a crossing point of the Forth. Our understanding of Roman activities and occupation in Scotland, and the distribution, character and meaning of Roman rock carving, would be significantly diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

 

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

The monument is in the care of Scottish Ministers.

It is recorded by RCAHMS as NT17NE 11. The record contains a bibliography of sources that describe the monument.

Keppie, L J F and Arnold, B J, 1984 Corpus Signorum Imperii Romani. Corpus of Sculpture of the Roman World, Great Britain vol 1 Fasicule 4, Oxford University Press. No 65.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Eagle Rock
https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/eagle-rock
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Related Designations


DALMENYGDL00130
Designation TypeGarden & Designed LandscapeStatusDesignated

Canmore

https://canmore.org.uk/site/50390/

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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