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


Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art


Roughting Linn is the most famous of the Northumberland rock carvings, but it would be a shame to pass by some of the less well known rock art in the area. Doddington is one of those sites that is well worth the effort and its a perfect place for a picnic as well if you've got kids in tow.

Doddington is a small village on the B6525 out of Wooler. Travelling north through the village you'll see a sign to the right for Wooler golf club. Park somewhere safe in the village and walk up the country lane to the golf course. Once at the clubhouse a path cuts straight through the course to the stones (beware of bad golfers though!).

The best and most richly carved stones are in the rough at the southern end of the course. In front of you is a small cottage (Called Shepherd's house on the map) and to the right is a big iron age earthwork called Dod Law. Once you're in this area search among the grass until you find the main carved rock and its smaller satellites. The main rock is a large flat outcrop, with not just cups-and-rings, but ovals, rectangles and heartshapes. Its quite unlike any other examples I've seen. Roughting Linn is claustrophobic, enclosed within its woodland glade. Doddington is the exact opposite, wide open skies, the Cheviots to the west providing a spectacular backdrop. This is a perfect chill-out zone (weather permitting).

The main carvings are the best and most impressive, but the area is full of other examples. I totally recommend anybody thinking of visiting the area to get hold of "Northumberlands Prehistoric Rock Carvings" by Stan Beckensall, a real labour of love and with good maps and directions for all the Doddington sites. Northumberland Rock art is one of Archaeologies big secrets (I live in the area and even I didn't realise how much there was!) perhaps Julian's next book could include some more sites. The area is so wild and unexplored, new sites are being found every year which is crazy.

(Incidentally a headline on local news recently, "Rock star joins campaign to preserve Rock art", which I tuned into thinking it might have been JC on one of his rambles turned out to be Bill Wyman of all people, puffing on a fag in the midst of some carvings! I suppose if you were in a band called the Rolling Stones its only natural!)
Posted by C33
11th August 2000ce

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