Northernmost of two cairns east of Glovershaw quarry, including adjacent cup-marked rock


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013408

Date first listed: 29-Dec-1994


Ordnance survey map of Northernmost of two cairns east of Glovershaw quarry, including adjacent cup-marked rock
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Bradford (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Baildon

National Grid Reference: SE 13196 40121

Reasons for Designation

Rombalds Moor is an eastern outlier of the main Pennine range lying between the valleys of the Wharfe and the Aire. The bulk of this area of 90 sq km of rough moorland lies over 200m above sea level. The moor is particularly rich in remains of prehistoric activity. The most numerous relics are the rock carvings which can be found on many of the boulders and outcrops scattered across the moor. Burial monuments, stone circles and a range of enclosed settlements are also known. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. A substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Prehistoric rock carvings are found on natural rock outcrops in many areas of upland Britain. They are especially common in the north of England in Northumberland, Durham, and North and West Yorkshire. The most common form of decoration is the `cup' marking where small cup-like hollows are worked into the surface of the rock. These cups may be surrounded by one or more `rings'. Single pecked lines also exist, providing the design with a `tail'. Other shapes and patterns also occur, but are less frequent. Carvings may occur singly, and in small groups, or may cover extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods (2800-c.500 BC) and provide one of our most important insights into prehistoric `art'. The exact meaning of the designs remains unknown, but they may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols. All positively identified prehistoric rock carvings will normally be identified as nationally important. Although this cairn is known to have been excavated by the Bradford Archaeology Group in 1949, it seems, according to their brief report, that the cairn was not excavated below ground level, but was `uncovered', i.e. the turf and soil were removed down to the `hidden boulders'. Consequently, much of archaeological importance may remain. The carvings on the cup-marked rock survive well and it will contribute to an understanding of the wider grouping of carved rocks.


The monument includes a circular cairn on boggy ground east of Glovershaw quarry. In appearance it has characteristics of a ring cairn; it is a low, almost circular bank of earth and stones with a gap at the west side. The bank is c.0.3m to 0.4m high, 2m wide. This present form is largely the result of partial excavation which has removed the centre of the original round cairn, leaving just the outer margin of the mound. The cairn is 13m in diameter including the bank. There is a strong likelihood that this cairn had a surrounding ditch, by analogy with an adjacent example; the width would be of the order of 1m. Although partially excavated this cairn will still retain important evidence of its original form and of the burials placed within it. This monument also includes a carved rock 0.7m x 0.7m, level with the ground -surface, which is 7.2m west of the cairn. The carving consists of six shallow cups and one groove.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 25275

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hedges, J D (ed), The Carved Rocks on Rombalds Moor, (1986), 51
'Archaeology Group Bulletin' in Archaeology Group Bulletin, , Vol. 7/1, (1962), 2
'Report 1949 - 1952' in Cartwright Memorial Hall Museum Archaelogy Group Report, (1952), 1

End of official listing