Fowberry Mains Park Find

Hi rock friends,

I risked life and limb going back to Fowberry Mains Park today in a 60mph gale with blustery showers- though the light was wonderful – if you could stand upright. If Turner had been alive he would have been painting the Cheviots and that enormous sky.

I spoke to Lance Strother earlier in the morning and he was most welcoming – merely asked that I didn’t take a dog into the field as he has cows about to calve; as it turns out they were almost a mile away from the motifs. So I got much better photos at mid afternoon. I also paced out the distance from the main group of rock motifs – it is 30 paces ‘uphill’ (south-west) from the end of the rock outcrop and 15 paces ‘inland’ from the line of the outcrop. It is 50 paces in a direct line to where the ‘chicken’ motif and main motifs are. The rock is detatched but earthfast.

Here below is a photo looking North East to the North Plantation. The main group of motifs is on the highest edge near the top of the picture, where the bracken ends.

View from new find to North Plantation

Fowberry Mains Park New Find (panel ‘F’?)

In the much better light it was obvious that there is only one ringed-cup – at the right hand end (eastern end) and it is linked to a triad of cups by a cruciform groove. There are nine cups in all on the rock and there are serpentine grooves linking the two most central large cups.


Here you can see a close-up of the ringed cup with a cruciform groove linking three small cups at the Eastern end of the rock panel.

Central group of cups with serpentine grooves linking them

Here you can see faint but clear serpentine grooves linking the two right hand cups.


Late light shot which reveals slightly more detail.

I find this whole experience quite remarkable – the fact that this rock has been lying here with most of the cups visible for decades – only 50 metres from the main rock art panel – and nobody stumbled upon it. Gives me hope that there are other small discoveries to be made out there.



8 Responses to Fowberry Mains Park Find

  1. Gavin says:

    Hi Graham
    I’ve not been at the blog for a while, so sorry for not saying hello sooner.
    Anyway better late than never, that’s a crackin’ find matey, well done.


  2. Hobsonish says:

    Heh! Nae Guilt needed G, I’m notoriously unable to find anything. (Rich, if you poke your head in here with that miserable thing at Ketley, I’ll ploat you 😉

    On the subject of a wider distribution at Fowberry, we know there’s something else hiding there, but Lance won’t tell anyone where it is:
    We know that the field in question is around Fowberry Enclosure, but so far, no joy.

  3. Borderglider says:

    Thanks Ian, I must say I felt a slight twinge of guilt walking into a site and stumbling across this new stone when you and others have devoted many hours to documenting and recording the motifs there. Beginner’s luck I guess. It does seem a great addition to the site in that the cups are so sharp and clear by comparison with the motifs that have been exposed and eroded for over a hundred years. Hopefully it will stay as good for at least another century. Maybe we should have a group expedition to Fowberry and Weetwood – maybe there are even more gems waiting to be found? The fact that this one is 50 yards from the main group at Fowberry implies that there may be a wider distribution.

  4. Hobson says:

    That ring/3 cup/cross thing is a pretty unique motif there. I can’t think of seeing it anywhere else. You’d think that there’d be a finite number of combinations of so few basic elements, but if there is, it’s not been reached yet.

    Stroll on Graham. Excellent stuff.

  5. rockartwolf says:

    some good pics there, glad it was better weather for you today.

    As Rich mentions you can see where the turf or some covering has been over part of the carvings, don’t feel too bad about peeling back the turf, as long as you are careful its not too much of a problem. We all know how much turf i have removed in my time, but as long it goes back in the correct place it should do no harm.
    The rule of thumb normally, is if its covered, then recover it when you are finished, though i have covered some carvings that were exposed and are really weathered just to give them some protection and a little longer life.

  6. rockartuk says:

    Hi Graham,
    Congrats with this fine new find!
    The lettering sequence makes this one the Fowberry Mains-j panel and it’s the number 10 panel for this site. How much more to follow?
    Thanks for the great detailed photos. They are already in the collection:
    The connecting grooves do make it a real ‘design’ indeed.
    I agree with Richard that there might be a (or some) ring(s) on this neat panel.

  7. borderglider says:

    There was an edge of turf extending about 4 inches onto the rock which had been broken in half – I think by the cows; unfortunately this broke away when I tried to roll it back to get the photo. I replaced the turf edge afterwards but I feel bad about this. The cups were all plugged with soft green moss, which just popped out with a single pull -but the 2nd and 6th cups were empty and in full view when I found them. There was no hard algae on the rock and I didn’t need to clean it in any way – apart from taking the moss out of the cups. I think there may be a faint groove running from the large ringed cup to join up with the groove that links cups 3 and 4.

    The carvings are much sharper and clearer than the ones on the outcrop itself
    and the peck marks on the ringed cup are very distinct. It seems possible that this sheet of rock was detached from the outcrop edge – maybe at the time it was quarried?

  8. rockrich says:

    Hello Graham, the discolouration on the stone would suggest the line of cups containing the ring has been mostly turf covered until fairly recently, with the green tint on the rest pointing towards extensive moss coverage…I bet it’s been disguised as just another vegetation covered boulder for years. I might be seeing things, but there looks to be an eroded ring on the outer cup below the definite cup and ring. Really is a lovely little carving.

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