This is a high density rock art site. It's easily possible to spend a couple of hours wandering about playing spot the carving. There are loads of them, most of them nowt to write home about, many quite seriously worn down. But it's still fun to hunt about matching them up with their descriptions, just on the off chance that oe has been missed, or that the lighting conditions have revealed ones not recorded before (unlikely, but you never know...).
One thing that is assuredly the case, is that the more complex motifs occupy the higher ground, with the wider views. The main panel, listed as number 3 by Beckensall, has to rank in the top 5 of British rock art sites.
If you're in a hurry and want to see some fines examples of prehistoric art, then nip up here, and make a beeline for Panels 3, 5 and 6. You could take in all 3, and be back in the car within 20mins.
Alternatively, if you're not in a hurry, meander across the moor to Whitsunbank and Coldmartin, or if you're feeling a bit hyper, tromp down to Chatton, then up to The Bowden doors, get a feel for the Till valley, and appreciate the landscape, to try and suss out the placing of the enormous number of carvings around the valley.
These pictures were taken just when it began to rain: it took a fair bit of hopping from hummock to hummock to find these rocks.
Take the track opposite the bend in the B6348, and there's a gate/stile with a public footpath going through the gorse on the right-hand side. The rocks are spread across a fairly wide area ahead and to the right - worth spending a while here to find the best ones.
I didn't have a lot of time here so I spent it looking for the large slab with huge cup and ring marks.....a stunning stone.(NU02158 28230)
There are quite a few other worn carvings on the stones above the first small quarry you come to when you enter the moor by the path near the cattle grid. The main slab is beyond these near the 'edge'.
Up on the moor, turning off the Wooler to Chatton road at a 90º corner head up the single track road until you cross the first cattle grid. Park here and the rocks are on your right about 100yards away.
Stone markers have been left to show which rcoks are inscribed.
Our Neolithic friends had plenty of canvas to work on, but some of the largest & flattest rocks are untouched.
Looking at the views, maybe this is because of the carvings alignment with the surroundings. There are new trees nearby, but if you look to the South-West you can see the twin hills of Harthope and Cheviot.
There is an annual fair held on Whitsun-Tuesday* at Weetwood Bank. It is one of the largest fairs in the north, for cattle, horses, and sheep. The latter are principally long-wooled hogs**, and ewes and lambs. Servants are also hired at this fair.
This from E Mackenzie's 'Historical, topographical and descriptive view of the county of Northumberland' (1825).
The mighty Beckensall's interpretation, presumably based on a rubbing of a stone in the area of Weetwood 8. Despite confusion regarding the exact location and number of carvings, efforts have been made to ameliorate the apparent ambiguities.