|Another 'portable' from Beckensall's Northumbria book, this stone is anything but portable. It's a boulder measuring approx 1.3 x 0.8 x 0.6m, and can just be tipped over by two blokes.
And tip it over is what you have to do, if you want to see the cups and rings. As the stone has been wisely left upside down to protect it from the ravages of the chavas who inhabit this little patch of trees, doing the things chavas do (few of which are generally compatible with the preservation of ancient rock art).
Bearing in mind that this piece has been moved at least twice, once into the vallum of hadrian's wall, then from the vallum to it's present position, I can't help but think it might be better in the museum of antiquities, like so many of it's kin. I say this even though I am normally loathe to think of museums as the best place for rock art, it should be allowed to roam free!
It was placed back upside down with the utmost care, and is now fairly indistinguishable from the many other rocks in the vicinity. I think anyone would actually have to be pretty stupid/determined to go to the bother of turning it over, the motifs aren't even anything particularly special, though the fact they're in Tyne and Wear, is.
If anyone should wish to have a deeks at this bit of obscure rock art, drop me a line.
NB: A subsequent visit has shown fire damage, in the form of splitting, on unmarked stones only a few yards away. Local piss-heads burning tyres it would seem.
Posted by Hob
22nd September 2004ce
Edited 10th November 2004ce