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
(All pictures copyright Paul Brown 2002)