Fowberry Mains – New Find

Hi guys,


Had a great visit to Fowberry Mains and Weetwood Moor today – still learning to read maps and Stan Beckensall’s directions. It was a rather gloomy day but I found the Fowberry Mains motifs easily.

I took photos of all the main ones on the outcrop edge – which has been extensively quarried. Then I wandered uphill about 30 metres and found an earthfast rock with 8 cups on it. The rock is about 0.75 of a metre in length and the cups are very well defined – about 2 inches across and fairly deep. Six of them are in a dead straight line – and the fourth prominent one from the top has the remains of a circle around it – just visible in this shot. I will go back on a sunnier day and get a better shot. I can’t see this collection of cups on the BRAC gallery for Fowberry Mains and it doesn’t appear in Stan’s graphic record of the site. I apologise if this is just wishful thinking – but is this a new one?




9 Responses to Fowberry Mains – New Find

  1. rockartwolf says:

    Hi Graham,

    really good news you were in contact with mr Strother, its good to make friends with the landowners, you don’t always have to do it, but it does make life a little bit easier

    good to see the carvings look like new seem to have the nose!

    good work..

  2. rockrich says:

    Hello Graham, I’ll get the stone recorded for N&DRAP, which should cover the appropriate authorities (English Heritage & N.C.C) bit. + the recording includes an assessment of ‘risk’ cheers Richard.

  3. borderglider says:

    Thanks Rich – this raises another beginner’s question. This piece of rock is relatively small and lying on the surface – – how should it be protected – I mean what is to stop someone lifting it up and walking away with it. Should it go to a museum for safe-keeping? Who does one notify in terms of responsible authorities?

    BTW I spoke to Lance Strother today on the phone and he was very positive and very sympathetic – obviously has a strong sense of stewardship of the sites on his land. Enjoyed talking with him very much – he said no problems with my revisiting Fowberry Mains Park site – apart from cows which are about to calve in that field. I did see cows yesterday but they were almost half a mile distant – he said he would tell his son that I might revisit today.

  4. rockrich says:

    Hello Graham, I’ve just been trawling through the new N&DRAP database and nothings jumping out as far as grid ref & description is concerned. Nearest to it is ‘F’ but thats definitely a different stone. This looks like a newie. Grid ref from your long/lats is NU0282027692 by the way.

  5. borderglider says:

    I accessed the Fowberry Mains site from the road by the farm buildings and there is a well-signposted public footpath sign – which looks new. The main motifs are only a few yards from this footpath s- it never entered my mind that there was an issue. I’d be grateful to know where Mr Struther lives and I’ll certainly ask his permission – any contact number appreciated. Just to be clear:

    1. I didn’t go near the North Plantation site because Stan’s books said this was a private woodland and there was a ‘private – no access’ sign on the gate there.
    ( I only saw this because I parked nearby to visit Weetwood Moor.) I didn’t go anywhere near the Fowberry Excavation site – if that is in the North Plantation.

    2. I dind’t go near the Fowberry Enclosures – largely because, even with Stan’s description. I couldn’t understand where they were.

    I only visited the contiguous Fowberry Mains Park group which are all very close to each other – spanning a 15 yard section of the quarried scarp edge which runs alongside a public right of way very close to the farm itself. This is the group which Stan Beckensall denotes as Fowberry Mains Park in his graphic Plate 72 on page 65 of his book ‘Prehistoric Rock Art in Northumberland’.

    I just zoomed in using Flash Earth and the reference is:
    Latitude 55deg 32′ 34.7″ North
    Longitude 1 deg 57′ 24.7″ West

    It would help my paranoia if you tell me this central Fowberry Mains Park group IS on public access land.



    This rock was very close to the main motifs – not more than 20 yards away – I just continued uphill along the same line of the outcrop and then turned ‘inland’ away from the outcrop maybe 20 yards and it was just lying there. I only pulled back about 3 inches of turf on one edge – the stone was wet with damp over half the surface.

  6. rockartwolf says:


    sorry Lance…(i blame Suz she told me twas Len, lol)

    I thought rock 3 at the excavation site seemed close?…

    do you have the grid refs for the panel Graham?

    As Hob says, it is maybe best keeping clear of Fowberry until you speak to Mr Strother.

  7. Hobsonish says:

    That doesn’t look like any of the ones on the Online Archive either. Looks like it is a new find Graham.

    I’d echo Brian’s sentiments about getting Lance Strother’s permission though. I think the Fowberry Mains field is now one of those open access areas, so technically, you’d not need permission to go having a look:

    But when it’s turf lifting time, Mr Strother gets quite irate. There are a few places around the F Mains panels where you can see the turf never grew back, and Lance is very protective of ‘his’ carvings. He’s a nice fella, but he takes his stewardship of these panels seriously.

    I hope that all doesn’t sound too negative. It’s just one of those things. Keep on with the good stuff Graham.

  8. rockartwolf says:

    Hi Graham,

    I am not totally certain but it looks like it could be this one,
    Fowberry Excavation site – Rock 3

    Good stuff Graham, just a word of warning though, be very careful when looking over the land around Fowberry, it is on private land, the land owner is not too keen on people being on his land without permission, especially when looking for rock art. It took Jan and Gus a number of attempts to be allowed onto the land.. Just a little advice, speak to the land owner is this case, the guy happens to own a lot of the land around the Wooler area, and we don’t want to piss the guy off, if you know what i mean.

    A lot of landowners are okay, but the odd one you need to be careful with, and this is one of those, a Mr Lance Strother.

    Glad to see you have got the bug though Graham.


  9. George Currie says:

    It’s not familiar to me but I don’t know the area well . There are a couple of other “cups in line” at Fowberry . It’s certainly genuine . Good find find Graeme.

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