Carved rock and prehistoric enclosure on west side of Scale Knoll Gill, 410m south west of Haythwaite, Barningham Moor
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 12-Aug-2020 at 22:17:14.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- County Durham (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- NZ 05476 08807
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 (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.
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
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
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