A carved rock within a large enclosure, 800m north east of Badger Way Stoop, Barningham Moor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017418

Date first listed: 24-Oct-1997


Ordnance survey map of A carved rock within a large enclosure, 800m north east of Badger Way Stoop, Barningham Moor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Barningham

National Grid Reference: NZ 06922 08345


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

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 symbols. 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.


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


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: 30484

Legacy System: RSM


Enclosure on Barningham Moor, Laurie, T, (1997)

End of official listing