Rock Carvings on the North York Moors
prehistoric rock carving
(or the tale of the 'lost' Kendall stone)
The library of the Yorkshire archaeological society has numerous volumes
of the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland which date
back to the mid 1800's. Volume VI (for the years 1864-1865) contains a lengthy
article entitled "On Ancient Sculpturings of Cups and Concentric
Rings" by sir James Simpson. In this article he mainly considered
examples from among the many carved rocks in Scotland, but in a later
chapter he discussed rock carvings from other regions, and in particular
one paragraph details a cup and ring marked slab which he had seen in the
garden of a Mr Kendall of Pickering, Yorkshire. The slab having been split
off from a rock outcrop on the moors above Robin Hoods Bay.
Nearly 150 years have passed since that article was
published, but what became of this large carved slab? It is not listed in
the local sites and monuments register or in the local museums, so perhaps
it has been lost or destroyed, having been broken up for the foundations
of a patio or some such fate?
On learning of this "lost stone", Pickering resident Pat O'Halloran speedily made enquiries to trace the property owned by Mr Kendall during the 1850's and found it is now the Park Vale hotel in Pickering, where an inspection of the hotel gardens did locate a large stone slab, but unfortunately this had no carvings on it.
The trail seemed to have gone cold but the search
continued and in September 1998 Mr Chris Evans from Brompton near
Scarborough, had the oppourtunity to photograph a large cup and ring
marked slab which had been shown to him in a private garden in Pickering.
Comparing his photograph to the original drawing confirmed this to be the
lost "Kendall stone", now located in the
detached part of the garden of another residence formally owned by Mr