Standing stone with cup markings, 230m south of Sandyway Heads
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1014070
Date first listed: 24-Jan-1969
Date of most recent amendment: 11-Mar-1996
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: NZ 04347 74657
Reasons for Designation
Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates
ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few
excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs,
ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often
conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can
be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round
barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included
stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth
containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds.
Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones,
which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and
ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways,
territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show
they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual
monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and
domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing
stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant
examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in
Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds.
Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high
longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late
Neolithic and Bronze Age. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and
those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be
considered to be of national importance.
Prehistoric rock art is found in many areas of upland Britain and is especially common in the north of England. The most common form of decoration is the `cup and ring marking' where small cup like hollows are pecked onto the surfaces of rock. These cups may be surrounded by one or more `rings'. Other shapes and patterns may also occur but are less frequent. Carvings may occur singly, in small groups or may cover extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Neolithic or Bronze Age periods (2800-c.500 BC) and provide some of our most important insights into prehistoric `art'. The standing stone at Sandway Heads is well preserved and retains significant archaeological information including evidence of prehistoric cup marks. It is one of a small group of three standing stones in the area which, taken together, will add to our knowledge and understanding of Bronze Age settlement and activity in the region.
The monument includes the remains of a standing stone of Bronze Age date
situated near the top of a promiment rise. The standing stone is 2m high and
0.5m square at the base and 1m wide at the top. It has been fashioned from a
massive freestone block, the upper parts of which are weathered and deeply
grooved and it leans slightly to the south. The eastern face of the standing
stone displays at least four cup marks or shallow, circular prehistoric motifs
pecked out of the surface of the stone. The standing stone is known locally as
`The Warrior Stone'.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 25181
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Hope-Dodds, M , The Victoria History of the County of Northumberland: Volume XII, (1940), 13
NZ 07 SW 10,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing