Small cairnfield with carved rocks north of the plantation on Weston Moor centred 730m north west of Weston Moor Cottage


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014306

Date first listed: 31-Jan-1996


Ordnance survey map of Small cairnfield with carved rocks north of the plantation on Weston Moor centred 730m north west of Weston Moor Cottage
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Harrogate (District Authority)

Parish: Weston

National Grid Reference: SE 18424 49670


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding landsurface to improve its use for agriculture, and on occasion their distribution pattern can be seen to define field plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size, content and associations of cairnfields provide important information on the development of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

Prehistoric rock carving is found on natural boulders and rock outcrops in many areas of upland Britain. It is 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 extending from the cup through the rings may also exist, providing the design with a `tail'. Other shapes and patterns 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 Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods (2800-c.500 BC) and provide one 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 exhibiting a significant group of designs will normally be identified as nationally important. Although disturbed by stone clearing, this cairnfield retains evidence of its form, location and distribution, and any burials placed within it. It is an important part of the prehistoric landscape of Weston Moor, and particularly important as part of the context of the carved rocks. The carvings on these rocks survive well and they form part of the prehistoric landscape of Weston Moor.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a cairnfield with four to five small cairns, and four carved rocks. They are situated on Weston Moor, north of a rectangular plantation. The cairns are 1m-4m in diameter, and all have been subject to extensive stone robbing. They may have been larger originally, but are unlikely to have exceeded 5m in diameter. The denuded condition of these cairns, and of others on Weston Moor, suggests that there may have been many more cairns on this moor before enclosure and `improvement'. The carved rocks mostly have simple carvings of two to four cups, with the exception of the rock known as Greystone Rock, which has a complex cup and ring design.

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: 28066

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing