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

Howden Hill (Northumberland)

Cup Marked Stone


Visited this site just south of Hadrian's Wall at Shield on the Wall to look for a cup-marked boulder given in the Beckensall Archive as 'Round Cairns west of Middle House'. According to the Archive, an English Heritage Field Warden had found a boulder with 16 cup-marks as part of the round cairns but only an approximate grid reference is given and no photographs. Although the moor is access land, getting to the site is problematical due to difficult car parking on the Military Road and a walk of about 1 mile over rough tussocky and often boggy terrain. Three round cairns dated to the Bronze Age stand on a slight ridge just south of Settlingstones Burn. Keys to the Past describes them as being between 8 and 10m in diameter and 1m high with one disturbed in the centre due to excavation, but I found the archaeology difficult to interpret on the ground. After a search of the numerous boulders, I eventually found a cup-marked stone, mostly turf-covered, about 40m east of the sheepfold fairly close to a stone setting which might indicate the original centre of one of the cairns. A second cup-marked rock can be found about 1m north of the first rock. Posted by rockandy
12th June 2007ce

Comments (1)

Further survey showed that the site of the two cup-marked panels is about 100m SW of the westernmost of the three round cairns. Features in the area (a stone setting, other large boulders, possible cist) suggest that another cairn was sited here as well, and many of its stones now removed to the sheepfold, built about 50m to the west. How the marked rocks relate to this cairn is unclear. We couldn't be sure if one of these stones is the same as that described in Beckensall as being found by a sharp-eyed field warden as that was described as being a boulder with 16 cups associated with (one of) the cairns, as our panels are largely turf-coverd flat panels with many more cups and lie some distance from the three cairns described. Posted by rockandy
27th August 2007ce
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