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Greenlee Lough

Cup Marked Stone


The cup marked stone (Greenlee Lough a) is 16m S of the southern entrance to a Roman Camp midway between the current field walls where the land slopes up to the N to crags overlooking Greenlee Lough. This area does not have free access to the public (which ends at the E side just beyond the Ridley Common stone circle) and permission must be sought at West Hotbank.
An area of cord rig (which was shown by excavation to predate the camp) is visible as parallel bands of vegetation (mainly rushes) from the S side of the stream in an area just below the cup-marked rock. This makes up part of the field system of a farmstead which is located in a field 200m to the west, on a protected site just above a steep gorge where the Jenkins Burn flows N to join Greenlee Lough. Although it has been described as Romano-British, it is circular in shape, and may be earlier. The Ridley Common stone circle is approximately 400m NE of the cup-marked rock and has been interpreted as a Bronze Age cairn as many of its 15 stones are small.
Flash Earth shows all these features well, including a hollow-way extending from the E side of the farmstead and another defended settlement, attributed to the Iron Age, situated on the top of the crags, immediately N of the stone circle. Shielings were constructed in its enclosure and in the Roman Camp in the Medieval period showing that this area has had a long history of settlement.

Greenlee Lough panel b is located at NY 78060 69988, 6m NW of corner in the boundary wall of the group of ruined shielings at Cragend just W of the Pennine Way footpath where it crosses the track, 400m NE of the Ridley Common stone circle. The outcrop is at the E end of the crag line which is the location of the Iron Age settlement and is at the top of a steep slope overlooking marshy ground lying to the E of Greenlee Lough. There are two basins (clearly man-made) connected by a shallow, curved groove. A 10p coin found (and left) in the bottom of the larger water-filled basin perhaps indicates a local tradition. The basins may have had a prehistoric origin as suggested by Beckensall but this can't be certain. The larger of the two is little eroded and maybe of fairly recent origin, possibly connected with the shielings which are very close. Its likely purpose will probably remain a mystery.
Posted by rockandy
4th December 2007ce

Comments (3)

"10p coin found (and left) in the bottom of the larger water-filled basin perhaps indicates a local tradition."
Excellent stuff. Cheers for the thoroughness of those notes :)
Hob Posted by Hob
3rd December 2007ce
These are at my house, I live at West Hot Bank and stumbled across the cups for the first time the other day (my parents knew about them but I wasnt aware, or was and completly forgot), i was fairly excited but i thought they were sacrificial cup stones, as the notes say the purpose is a mystery I am keeping to my theory. They are quite deep, so i didn't see any 10p coins collected but I'm definitely enforcing the tradition next time im there, or at least having a feel around to see what i can find.

thanks for the notes, its intresting to get some better information on them.
Posted by 050153
26th January 2009ce
Howdo 05,

Apparently you're not alone in your sacrifical theory, I remember reading a leaflet by the fella who does 'Shepherd's walks' up in Kirkharle, and he had a photo of it with a caption saying it 's referred to in some folklore sources as 'The Bluidy Trough'.

If you're out and about that way, keep an eye out for the alleged rows of cups on Queen's Crags. They're recorded on the Northumberland sites and monuments register, but I've never heard of anyone finding them, other than the person who first reported them. Maybe they can only be seen in the right light or something. Or maybe they were the result of an hyper-keen imagination ;)
Hob Posted by Hob
28th January 2009ce
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