A carved rock within a large enclosure, 800m north east of Badger Way Stoop, Barningham Moor
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 12-Aug-2020 at 22:41:22.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- County Durham (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- NZ 06922 08345
Reasons for Designation
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'. Single pecked lines extending from the cup through the `rings' may
also exist, providing the design with a `tail'. Pecked lines or grooves can
also exist in isolation from cup and ring decoration. 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 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
Frequently they are found close to contemporary burial monuments and the
symbols are also found on portable stones placed directly next to burials or
incorporated in burial mounds. 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. All positively identified prehistoric rock
art sites exhibiting a significant group of designs will normally be
identified as nationally important.
In the uplands of northern England a wide variety of prehistoric enclosures can be found. These range from relatively large, rectangular enclosures with earth and stone banks, to smaller, irregular areas enclosed by rubble and boulder walls. Most are dated to the Bronze Age, Iron Age, or early Romano-British period (2000BC-200AD). The larger regular enclosures tend to be dated towards the later part of this period and the smaller, irregular enclosures towards the beginning. Their variation in form, longevity, and relationship to other monument classes provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and land use among prehistoric communities. This enclosure survives well as does the carving on the rock. Together, they form part of the prehistoric landscape of Barningham Moor, which includes numerous other banks and enclosures, carved rocks, and evidence of prehistoric burials, settlements and agricultural use of the land. This site will therefore contribute to studies of such prehistoric landscapes and the changing patterns of land-use over time. Information on the relationship of the rock to the enclosure will be preserved.
The monument includes a carved rock and a large prehistoric enclosure. It is
situated on Barningham Moor, 800m north east of Badger Way Stoop, in an area
of deep heather.
The enclosure is kidney shaped, with two distinct lobes, and there is evidence
of an internal division. It is probable that the east lobe is earlier than the
west; the west enclosure may represent an extension to the earlier enclosure.
The enclosure walling is substantial being composed of a combination of large
orthostats and rubble banks. The walling is typically 4m wide and 0.5m high,
but several of the orthostats exceed this height. The enclosure appears to be
prehistoric in date and may have been used for agricultural purposes.
A carved sandstone rock, covered by heather, is located inside the enclosure
close to the west edge of the west lobe. The visible part of the rock measures
1m by 1m by 0.1m, and the carving consists of a single cup mark.
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:
- Legacy System:
Enclosure on Barningham Moor, Laurie, T, (1997)
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