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Middleton Bank Top

Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art


The grid ref given in 'Prehistoric rock art in Northumberland' is incorrect. Presumably it's a typo, as it's exactly 1km out. The book says NZ0587 8395, the Beckensall Archive says NZ 05835 82943 for panel 1a and NZ 05713 82995 for panel 2a. A good tromp for exactly a kilometre in the wrong direction has proven to me that the Online archive is telling the truth. A subsequent trek about the same distance to the North west has proven to me that it's a good idea to verify your co-ordinates after you've entered them into a gps in a hurry. The irony of the whole thing being, that when I finally found the darn things, I didn't use a gps, the book, or the map. By that time I knew the area quite well, and there was only one outcrop I hadn't checked, the one with the carvings. Bah!

Havings said all this, Neither are spectacular examples, being quite seriously eroded. The stone is soft around here. But both panels are a lot clearer than the one at the nearby Hallion's rock . They're reasonably accessible, especially when the vegetation is low, both are just off the footpath, one either side. Look out for the feeding trough.

Whilst not fantastically inspiring bits of rock art, they add to the general loveliness of the Shaftoe Crags area. Especially neat is the cleft of the 'Long Byres' just to the south west of these panels, which I defy anyone to deny as being a prime spot for any self-respecting hunter-gatherers to bed down for the night.

As usual for the area, there is an obligatory view of Simonside, silhouetted against the horizon, but this potentially significant view is annoyingly obscured by trees from panel 2a.
Hob Posted by Hob
12th July 2005ce

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