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Carved rock, cist and cairnfield 580m west of Hindon Edge

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, cist and cairnfield 580m west of Hindon Edge

List entry Number: 1021116


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


District: County Durham

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Langleydale and Shotton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 22-Dec-2003

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 35961

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 (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.

Cairnfields are concentrations of cairns sited in close proximity to one another. They often consist largely of clearance cairns, built with stone cleared from the surrounding land surface to improve its use for agriculture, and on occasion their distribution can be seen to define field plots. However, funerary cairns are also frequently incorporated, although without excavation it may be impossible to determine which cairns contain burials. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from c.3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). The considerable longevity and variation in the size, content and associations of cairnfields provide important information on the development of land use and agricultural practices. Cairnfields also retain information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation during the prehistoric period.

Cists are small rectangular stone structures used for burial in the Bronze Age. They are made up of regular stone slabs forming a box-like structure sometimes topped by a larger coverstone. In north east England the coverstone is sometimes carved with cup and ring marks. Cists may occur in association with cairns, ring cairns and cairnfields, but may also survive as free-standing monuments with no enclosing stone and earth cairn. Cists provide insight into the range of ceremonial and ritual practices of Bronze Age farming communities.

The carved rock, cist and cairnfield 580m west of Hindon Edge survive well. They provide important evidence of the links between Bronze Age agricultural practice, burial, and belief systems. They form an important part of a wider distribution of cairnfields, carved rocks, and prehistoric burials in the plantations, allotments, and commons north east of Eggleston, and form part of the prehistoric landscape of the North Peninnes.


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


The monument includes a carved rock, a cist and a cairnfield. The carved rock is 620m west of Hindon Edge and about 84m west of a line of grouse butts. The rock is approximately 2 sq m and stands to a height of about 0.8m. The carving consists of at least five cup marks on the top surface of the rock. The cist is 448m WSW of Hindon Edge, 24m south of a field wall. The cist consists of a small stone box constructed from sandstone slabs. The top of the cist is just below ground level and is partly covered by a small collection of flatish rocks. The inside of the cist measures approximately 0.3 sq m. The external dimensions of the cist are not measurable as the outer edge is not exposed.

The centre of the cairnfield is approximately 580m west of Hindon Edge. It lies mainly on moorland but extends into the enclosed land to the south. The cairnfield includes at least seven cairns and four stretches of rubble bank. The cairns are typically 2m to 4m in diameter and up to 0.2m high. They are distributed fairly evenly over an area approximately 340m long and 160m wide. The rubble banks lie within the same area and are up to 2m wide and 0.2m high. The banks are mostly straight or slightly meandering and do not form any coherent pattern. They are typically about 40m long. Both the rubble banks and the cairns are difficult to locate in areas of deep heather, and it is likely that more will survive in the area defined. Additional small cairns are known on the hillside further east, closer to Hindon Edge. These are very diffusely distributed and their extent has not been defined, therefore they do not form part of this scheduling.

The drystone wall is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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, Laurie, T, Prehistoric Rock Art in County Durham, Swaledale and Wensleydale, (1998), 86
Brown, P, Carved rocks and cairns near Hindon Edge,
Brown, P, Carved rocks and cairns near Hindon Edge,
Brown, P, Cist near Hindon Edge,

National Grid Reference: NZ 04915 24168


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This copy shows the entry on 26-Sep-2018 at 07:52:35.

End of official listing