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Carved rock and prehistoric enclosure on west side of Scale Knoll Gill, 410m south west of Haythwaite, Barningham Moor

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Carved rock and prehistoric enclosure on west side of Scale Knoll Gill, 410m south west of Haythwaite, Barningham Moor

List entry Number: 1017440


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: County Durham

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Barningham

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 24-Nov-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Oct-1997

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 30478

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 (2000 BC-200 AD). 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. The carving on the rock survives well and displays a complex range of motifs not normally found in this area. Its relationship with the later enclosure wall may provide evidence for the later agricultural use of earlier sacred sites. Together, the carved rock and enclosure form an important part of the prehistoric landscape of Barningham Moor, which includes numerous other prehistoric 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 carved sandstone rock, 1.2m by 0.6m by 0.85m, and an associated rubble banked enclosure. It is situated on Barningham Moor, on the west side of Scale Knoll Gill, 410m south west of Haythwaite. The carved rock has been incorporated into the boulder walling of the enclosure at a later date and is therefore not in situ. The carving is on the east vertical face of the rock, and consists of a cup with four rings, a long groove from this cup, seven other cups with a branching groove from two of them, two other descending grooves, and two possible cups. The subrectangular enclosure is considered to be prehistoric in date and is interpreted as an agricultural enclosure used for controlling stock. It measures 23m by 83m and is composed of boulder walling and rubble banks. The rubble banks are 2m-3m wide, and up to 0.5m high. A boulder wall subdividing the enclosure incorporates the carved rock. The carving on the rock faces into the wall, suggesting that the walling is later than the carving. The enclosure walls show signs of stone-robbing, but a significant proportion survives. The north side of the enclosure is bounded by a small water course, and the east side by the top of the slope down into Scale Knoll Gill.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Beckensall, S, Rock Carvings of Northern Britain, (1986), 30
Laurie, T, 'Archaeological Newsbulletin Series 2' in Archaeological Newsbulletin CBA Regional Group Three, (1977), 12-13
Laurie, T, 'Archaeological Newsbulletin Series 2' in Archaeological Newsbulletin CBA Regional Group Three, (1977), 13

National Grid Reference: NZ 05476 08807


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This copy shows the entry on 22-Sep-2018 at 11:50:25.

End of official listing