Carved rocks in Stobgreen Plantation


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021115

Date first listed: 22-Dec-2003


Ordnance survey map of Carved rocks in Stobgreen Plantation
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1021115 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 18-Jan-2019 at 09:16:38.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Eggleston

National Grid Reference: NZ 00726 24004, NZ 00729 23986, NZ 00935 23554, NZ 01299 23497


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 (c.2800-500 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 will normally be identified as nationally important.

The carvings on the rocks in Stobgreen Plantation survive well. The carved rocks exhibit a range of carvings with differing levels of complexity. They form an important part of the distribution of carved rocks, cairnfields and prehistoric burials, in the plantations, allotments and commons north east of Eggleston, and form part of the wider prehistoric landscape of the North Pennines. They 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 four carved rocks in Stobgreen Plantation. A further group of at least seven carved rocks lie to the south east at Bracken Heads. These are the subject of a separate scheduling.

The easternmost of the four carved rocks in the plantation lies near the east edge of the plantation at NZ01292349. It is 370m north east of Folly House near the top of a ridge on the east side of an old stone quarry. The visible portion of the rock is about 2m long and 1m wide, and stands about 0.5m high. The carving consists of three cup marks with rings, at least nine further cup marks and several grooves. These carvings occur on the top and the sloping north side of the rock.

A second carved rock at NZ00932355, 220m north of Folly House lies at the edge of the trees, about 60m north east of a wall junction along a drystone wall at the edge of the plantation. The rock is partly covered by turf. The visible portion which forms most of the top surface of the rock is approximately 1m by 1.2m and is level with the ground. The carving consists of a single cup mark.

The third carved rock is at NZ00722398, approximately 500m north east of Gate House, in a slope between two forestry tracks. It lies about 4m north of the lower track, and 19m east of the track junction. The rock measures approximately 1 sq m and is almost level with the surrounding ground surface. The carving consists of seventeen cup marks, and four possible cup marks. The remaining carved rock is a little further north at NZ00722400, close to the same track junction. It lies on the north side of the upper track, 23m north east of the track junction. The visible part measures approximately 0.6m by 0.6m. The carving consists of four cup marks near the top of the sloping upper surface of the rock.

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: 35957

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Beckensall, S, Laurie, T, Prehistoric Rock Art in County Durham, Swaledale and Wensleydale, (1998), 86
Brown, P, Carved Rocks in Stob Green Plantation,

End of official listing