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Cup marked rocks 60m NNW, 110m north and 135m NNE of Lurgan Steading

A Scheduled Monument in Highland, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.6307 / 56°37'50"N

Longitude: -3.9271 / 3°55'37"W

OS Eastings: 281876

OS Northings: 750426

OS Grid: NN818504

Mapcode National: GBR JCN6.5TP

Mapcode Global: WH4LP.NL4N

Entry Name: Cup marked rocks 60m NNW, 110m N and 135m NNE of Lurgan Steading

Scheduled Date: 26 July 2022

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13760

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Dull

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Highland

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises three groups of cup marked rocks covering a total of 17 rock art panels. The panels date from the Neolithic (4,100 BC – 2,500 BC) to Bronze Age (2,500 BC – 800 BC). The panels are located within a forestry plantation at around 330m above sea level. Many of the panels are covered with turf and moss. 

Area 1, centred on NN 81861 50402 has 14 panels These panels range in size from 1.2m x 0.7m to 7m x 2.6m. Notable motifs on these panels include rosettes; cups with a radial groove and multiple rings and a group of up to 60 'micro' cup marks. 

Area 2, centred on NN 81903 50461, has one panel. The panel measures 1.1m x 0.9m with one large and one small cup mark. 

Area 3, centred on NN 81962 50481, has two panels. These panels measure 1.2m x 0.7m and 3.5m x 2m. Notable motifs include a group of up to 10 cup marks, a pair of conjoined cup marks and a cup and ring mark. 

The scheduled area is in three parts; the southwestern is irregular, the middle is a clipped circle 20m across and the northeastern is a circle 25m in diameter. The scheduled area includes the remains described above and an area around 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 above ground elements of all modern post and wire fencing and the disused limekiln at NN 81852 50397, are specifically excluded from the scheduled area to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17): 

a.   The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the past as three groups of cup marked rocks comprising a total of 17 rock art panels dating from the Neolithic (4,100 BC – 2,500 BC) to Bronze Age (2,500 BC – 800 BC). 

b.   The monument retains decorative or other physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past, in particular the monument has a high concentration and wide range of motifs including cups, rings groves, and combinations of these.

c.   The monument is a rare example of cup marked rocks with 'rosette' motifs which have parallels with examples in England, Ireland and Spain. 

d.   The monument is a particularly good example of prehistoric abstract art in the form of a high concentration of cup marked rocks with a wide range of motifs. It is therefore an important representative of this monument type.

e.   The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past. The abstract motifs of the cup marked rocks contribute to our wider knowledge of these symbols. Archaeological study of the area around the cup marked rocks may identify artefacts, stratified archaeological deposits and material suitable for radiocarbon dating which can tell us about why and when the panels were created. 

f.   The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the prehistoric landscape. It is part of a wider distribution of contemporary sites in the area, in particular other cup marked rocks, and has the potential to help us understand their distribution; regionality; connections within Britain and to Europe and the movement of people, ideas and traditions in the Neolithic and Bronze Age.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

The monument is 17 rock art panels with cup marks and other motifs dating from the Neolithic (4,100 BC – 2,500 BC) to Bronze Age (2,500 BC – 800 BC). Cup marked rocks are a form of abstract prehistoric art created by striking the rock repeatedly, often with a stone tool, to create shapes and symbols referred to as motifs. The 'cup' mark - a semi spherical concave depression - is the most common motif but others are known such as groves and rings. The rock art panels that comprise this monument include a variety of motifs including cups, grooves and rosettes. Many of the monument's panels are in good condition with clearly defined motifs.

Cup marked rocks are mostly found on areas of exposed roughly horizontal bedrock, though vertical and smaller portable examples also exist. The reason for their creation remains unknown but their widespread distribution combined with the time and effort they took to make suggests they held a special, perhaps ritual, significance to people in prehistory. 

Archaeological excavation has shown that rock art can be associated with artefacts such as quartz, stone tools and natural pigments such as red ochre. (Barnett et al. 2021, 13, 27 32). It is also possible that larger more complex panels with combinations of many motifs may have been added to over a long period of time. This may be the case at this monument. Scientific investigation of the monument could identify similar artefacts along with stratified archaeological deposits and material for radiocarbon dating. This could help us to better understand when, why and how the monument was created; how the area around them was used; if they were returned to and the activities focused on these outcrops. Together this information can help us to understand the role cup marked rocks played in prehistoric society and their role in people's belief systems. 

There is also the potential for further motifs and panels to be identified under the turf in the immediate vicinity of the monument. As well as the inherent value as a decorated monument the relationship between individual motifs and the overall design contributes to our wider knowledge of rock art symbols and can help us to better understand their meaning.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

The monument is located in a forestry plantation, spread across 17 panels on a schist outcrop. Without the tree cover there would be extensive views to the east, west and south towards the Appin of Dull and the River Tay. 

Cup marks are the most common form of rock art in Scotland and are also found across much of Europe. Over 3000 panels containing prehistoric rock art are known of in Scotland. The larger concentrations of rock art are found in Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and Bute, Perthshire and around the inner Moray Firth and adjacent coasts, the adjoining area of the Great Glen and northeast Scotland. 

Rock art panels often display regional trends. The 'rosette' motifs present at the monument are concentrated in the areas of Dumfries and Galloway as well as Argyll and Bute but current analysis suggests they appear less frequently in Perth and Kinross. This makes their presence at Lurgan Steading notable. They also have parallels in County Louth in Ireland, Northumberland in England and Galicia in Spain which suggests there were links to other rock art areas in Britain and Europe. This may reflect the movement of individuals, communities and/or ideas and traditions in prehistory.

Researchers suggest that rock art is also a component of prehistoric ritual landscapes. The area around the monument has a significant number of rock art sites, around 28 have been identified within 1.5km. These include Cupmarked rock 825m NNW of Rock Lodge (scheduled monument SM9157 5km southwest); Lundin, stone circle and cup-marked stone 370m NNW of (scheduled monument SM1563 6km east) and Glassie, Cup-Marked Rock 720m W Of (scheduled monument SM9682 3km east-northeast). There is also a high concentration of broadly contemporary ritual and funerary sites along Strath Tay. For example, Dull, Stone Circle 270m S Of Appin House, Formerly The Manse (scheduled monument SM1539 2.5km southwest); Tom of Cluny, chambered cairns 450m SSW of (scheduled monument SM6251 5.5km east).

There is the potential to study the monument in relation to the surrounding landscape, including other ritual and funerary monuments, and other cup marked rocks in the area to better understand their distribution locally as well as across Britain and Europe; their regional distinctiveness; why certain locations were chosen; what the rock art meant to those who created it; the role it played within communities and wider society; and the movement of people, ideas and traditions in the Neolithic and Bronze Age.

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

There are no known associative characteristics which contribute to this monument's national importance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Area 1:

Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE IDs 300455, 368577, 368578, 368579, 368580, 368581, 368584, 368582, 368583, 368571, 368572, 368573, 368574, 368575 (accessed on 21/06/2022)

Historic Environment Scotland reference number ScRAP IDs 2477, 3257, 3258, 3241, 3244, 3259, 3261, 3260, 3242, 3262, 3243, 3263, 3264, 3314 (accessed on 21/06/2022)

Area 2:

Historic Environment Scotland reference number

CANMORE ID 368576 (accessed on 21/06/2022)

Historic Environment Scotland reference number ScRAP IDs 3265 (accessed on 21/06/2022)

Area 3:

Historic Environment Scotland reference number

CANMORE IDs 370766, 300454 (accessed on 21/06/2022)

Historic Environment Scotland reference number ScRAP IDs 3397, 1903 (accessed on 21/06/2022)

Local Authority HER/SMR Reference MPK18037, MPK18036 (accessed on 21/06/2022).

Barnett, T. et al. (2021) Prehistoric Rock Art in Scotland – Archaeology Meaning and Engagement. Historic Environment Scotland. Available at ( ) Accessed on (24/02/2022).

Van Hoek, M.A.M, (1989) 'The Rosette in British and Irish Rock Art' in Glasgow Archaeological Journal, vol. 16. 1989. Pages(s): 39-54, Available at ( .1989.16.16.39) Accessed on (08/03/2022).


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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