Cup marked rock on Moorsholm Moor, 280m west of Dimmingdale Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018797

Date first listed: 19-Mar-1999


Ordnance survey map of Cup marked rock on Moorsholm Moor, 280m west of Dimmingdale Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Redcar and Cleveland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lockwood


National Grid Reference: NZ 68619 11919


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.

Despite some weathering of the decoration, the cup marked rock 280m west of Dimmingdale Farm survives well and has not been disturbed. On the North York Moors cup and ring marked stones are found largely within round barrows. This cup marked rock is one of only a few decorated in situ boulders to be found in an open moorland situation. It is situated in a group of monuments which also includes an enclosed cremation cemetery, round barrows, a further cup marked rock, clearance cairns and a stone hut circle. Monument groupings such as these offer important scope for the study of the distribution of prehistoric activity across the landscape.


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


The monument includes a cup marked rock situated on level moorland at the north edge of the North York Moors. The rock is a small in situ boulder which is sub-rectangular in shape and measures about 0.75m by 0.3m and stands up to 0.3m high. The horizontal upper surface is decorated with six shallow cup marks. The long axis of the rock is orientated south west-north east to the point at the summit of Freebrough Hill, about 800m to the north east. The cup marked rock lies in an area rich in prehistoric monuments, including barrows, field systems and clearance cairns.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 3 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: 32019

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)

End of official listing