Beckstones Farm. - Cup marked outcrop.

(Text and pictures by Paul Brown June 2002)

 Beckstones Farm is situated within the upper Ullswater valley between the villages of Rooking and Hartsop.
 This panel of motifs is one of a series of discoveries made during 1999 within central Lakeland
. A domed outcrop situated to the east of the Goldrill Beck and overlooks a marsh. It is approx.10m x12m and located in an enclosure 30m north west of Beckstones farm, beside the farm track on a public right of way.   The cup marks on the glacially-smoothed outcrop of volcanic tuff were first recorded by the authors in October 1999.  (Site arrowed in lower right of the picture opposite)

 The rock is partly quarried at the north end.  
The decorated panel, on the upper surface consists of approximately 30 cups in a cluster, varying in size between 4 cm to 8 cm and up to 3 cm deep. A deep Y shaped groove which is considered to be artificial, cuts across the strike of the rock 1m south of  the cluster of cups. To the west of the motifs on a lower ledge is a large cup 7 cm x 4cm deep. 
To the north of the farm gate there are at least 3 cup marks on a partly quarried panel. Much of the outcrop has fractured into panels and is overgrown with moss and turf it is probable that other motifs lay undiscovered.
Tim Cook, a resident at the nearby hamlet of Rooking, uncovered a cup-marked panel in his garden in August 1999.  Since then he and other local residents have discovered two more sites, however all these sites are located on private land. A full account of these sites is published in the Matterdale Historical and Archaeological Society Year Book and Transactions 1999 vol 6, Rock Carvings in Patterdale. Tim Cook p38-42

The discovery of these panels has led to a wider search within Lakeland in areas where rock art has not previously been apparent.   Indeed it was considered that rock art was unlikely to be evident in a geological area of volcanic tuff.  Subsequent systematic searches have resulted in the discovery of other sites within these valleys enhancing and extending our knowledge of the distribution of these prehistoric petroglyphs.

Paul & Barbara Brown. June 2002

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(All pictures copyright Paul Brown 2002)