The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Fallowlees Burn

Cup Marked Stone


The slopes either side of Fallowlees burn are "an area of prehistoric enclosures and barrows". So quoth Mr Beckensall. There are a number of circular ditched features, at least four inside a 1.5 mile radius of the reservoir, the easternmost being Nunnykirk. It's been suggested that this is a ritual enclosure, as it doesn't seem to be a defensive feature, but it's not alone. There is a small circular ditch at approx NZ036937, only about 10m across.

A larger one, on the southern side of Fallowlees burn is larger, is perhaps 30m or so in diameter. As many sites in the area hint at multi-phasic use, dating these features is not possible without the pro's coming in and doing their stuff with the harcky-ological technique. But 3 things that can't be denied are the recorded examples of rock art, which may be taken as a clue that at least some of the enclosures in the area are prehistoric, whatever their purpose may have been, ritual? Cattle? Rituals involving cattle? No-one knows for sure. The marks on this stone, if confirmed as rockart, would raise the number of sites to 5 (if the boulder near the table slab at Fontburn is taken as a separate example)

This simple, but typical, example of rock art is set a few metres away from one of these enclosures, in a patch of nettles that stand out like a sore thumb, indicating something going on underground. The stone has at least 4 cups and 2 grooves, and though prone, may have been upright at some point. It is in the middle of a small mound, and is not marked on the maps, nor is it mentioned in any lists or books I've seen. It's easy to spot the patch of nettles from the bridlepath, with the stone peeking out.
Hob Posted by Hob
13th July 2004ce

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