A carved rock and boulder walling, near the south wall of Scale Knoll Allotment, 500m north east of Black Hill Gate


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017430

Date first listed: 24-Oct-1997


Ordnance survey map of A carved rock and boulder walling, near the south wall of Scale Knoll Allotment, 500m north east of Black Hill Gate
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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 04881 08559


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.

The carving on the rock survives well and the relationship of the carved rock and the walling indicates the continued use of the area, the rock having been incorporated into the later walling. The carved rock and the rubble walling together form an important part of the prehistoric landscape of Barningham Moor, which includes numerous other carved rocks and evidence for prehistoric burials, settlements and the 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.


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


The monument includes a low carved sandstone rock and a stretch of boulder and rubble walling lying immediatly adjacent to it. It is situated on Barningham Moor, in the modern sheep-grazing enclosure known as Scale Knoll Allotment, north of the gate which is approximately halfway along the south wall of the modern enclosure. The prehistoric walling consists of several short stretches of boulder and rubble bank, 2m-3m in width and up to 0.7m high. They are the remnants of a prehistoric enclosure which has been robbed in the past for walling stone. This prehistoric walling extends for 45m long and is 6m wide. The rock is in situ, abutted by the walling, and measures 0.7m by 0.9m by 0.1m. The carving consists of four cups, joined by grooves to form a zig-zag in the shape of a reversed capital `N'. It is of earlier date than the walling and was reused within the enclosure walling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 30468

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing