Cammon Stone standing stone on Rudland Rigg 1030m NNE of Cockan Cross


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Cammon Stone standing stone on Rudland Rigg 1030m NNE of Cockan Cross
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Yorkshire
Ryedale (District Authority)
Farndale West
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SE 62638 99978

Reasons for Designation

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs, ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds. Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones, which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways, territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds. Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Cammon Stone is a good example of a prehistoric standing stone. Its three inscriptions and the adjacent recumbent stone add to its interest. It continues to function as a landmark along a route over the moors, a role that it has fulfilled for many centuries.


The monument includes a prehistoric standing stone and an adjacent recumbent stone along with associated buried deposits. It is located 1.6km north east of the hamlet of Cockayne, on the spine of Rudland Rigg overlooking the head of Bransdale. It stands 5m to the west of an unmetalled byway known as Westside Road, which runs down the spine of Rudland Rigg. This is thought to be an old established route over the North York Moors which was recognised as a road in the medieval period. The standing stone, which is listed Grade II, is an undressed irregular slab with a heavily weathered upper surface. From it there are impressive views down the length of Bransdale to the south, from much of which the stone will be visible as a small feature against the skyline. Cammon Stone is also intervisible with the prominent group of Bronze Age round barrows known as Three Howes nearly 2km to the SSE. The stone leans slightly to the west and stands 1.4m above the surrounding ground surface. At its base it measures 0.8m by 0.3m broadening to just over 1m by 0.4m at around 0.7m above the ground. It is orientated so that its two larger faces point to the east and west. The stone has three sets of inscriptions: on the west face, clearly visible to people walking south east along Westside Road, there are six Hebrew characters spelling the word halleluiah. This is reputed to have been inscribed by the Reverend W Strickland, Vicar of Ingleby, in the 19th century. On the east face there is a rough, faint inscription with the figures 1.7 above a mainly indecipherable word of around 5 letters, the next to last being a W; and finally, near the base on the south face there is an Ordnance Survey bench mark symbol. All three sets of inscriptions are covered in lichen growth and are thus not thought to be recent. Excavations of standing stones elsewhere have shown that they often formed the focus for prehistoric cremation burials and other ritualistic deposits placed in pits and hollows. The monument thus includes an additional 4m margin to protect any buried archaeological remains associated with the standing stone. Due east of the standing stone there is a second irregular slab of rock lying on the ground. This measures 2.7m east-west, 1.5m north-south and is at least 0.3m thick. It is slightly inclined so that its western end, nearest the standing stone, is higher than its eastern end. This western end comes to a rounded point which appears to point at the base of the standing stone which is 1.5m further to the west. The recumbent stone is considered to be either a second standing stone which has fallen some time in the past, or to be a naturally placed slab which nonetheless functioned as part of the original monument, acting as a focus for ritual or ceremonial activity. Thus the 4m margin is also extended around the outside of this stone to protect any associated buried deposits.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 4 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
Hayes, R H, Old Roads and Pannierways in North East Yorkshire, (1988), 47


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

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