Standing stone with cup markings 270m north west of Newtown Mill

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014925

Date first listed: 04-Apr-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Aug-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Standing stone with cup markings 270m north west of Newtown Mill
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lilburn

National Grid Reference: NU 04321 24212

Summary

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

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 on natural 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 and ring' marking where expanses of small cup-like hollows are pecked into the surface of the rock. These cups may be surrounded by one or more `rings'. Other shapes and patterns also occur, but are less frequent. 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 is unknown, but they may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols. The symbols are also found on portable stones placed directly next to burials or incorporated in burial mounds and on other classes of monuments such as standing stones. Around 800 examples of prehistoric rock-art have been recorded in England. This is unlikely to be a realistic reflection of the number carved in prehistory. Many will have been overgrown or destroyed in activities such as quarrying. The standing stone north west of Newtown Mill survives well and is an undisturbed example of an uncommon feature of the Northumberland landscape. Its importance is enhanced by the presence of prehistoric rock art carved in it.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric standing stone situated at the foot of the southern slopes of Ewe Hill. It is roughly rectangular in cross section, measures a maximum 0.6m by 0.45m wide and stands 1.3m high. It is deeply weathered with vertical grooves on the west side. There are two possible cup marks linked by a shallow groove on the south side and a single cup mark on the north side.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 29302

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing