Rock Art Sites Vandalised.






Hi Folks 


As we all know there are many rock art sites on the archaeological record but this is only a fraction of the many hundreds that have possibly been carved. Over the last few centuries a number been lost, some have suffered from natural erosion, the unnatural onslaught of quarrymen and in some areas fire and agricultural practices too has taken its toll.

 Sadly some of our most  prominent rock art sites have been plagued by graffiti artists from as long as 150 years ago.


Sad to say it has been noted that two sites a cup stone and a cup and ring stone on the North York Moors have unfortunately recently suffered damage.  From the photos one can see that fragments have been chipped away from the stones fortunately the main motifs have been left intact.  Oxidisation on the exposed surface indicates that the damage took place within the last few months! The fragments appear however to have been removed from site.  We of course do not know the reasons behind the wanton damage perhaps they were removed as some sort of talisman, for a solstice event or perhaps someone believes that the stone has some mystic power linked to other such mindless rubbish – who knows?


The stones are mostly covered in vegetation and is not on a normal routeway, neither is its location widely known.   We can only assume that whoever perpetrated the stupid deed must have been well aware of the location to target the spot!  The site is of course a scheduled ancient monument and naturally protected by law.


English Heritage and the National Park Authority are keen to follow up any information given to them by members of the general public.

Regarding the vandalism of sites and monuments 


Regrettably yet another rock has been vandalised this time in the Yorkshire Dales.  It is a large cup marked slab that has now been defaced by someone using a sharp instrument.  In this case the authorities have located the culprit since initials and a name had been carved into another rock nearby – obviously by the same implement.  The perpetrator is known to one of the local farmers in the area.


Regards Stoneman


8 Responses to Rock Art Sites Vandalised.

  1. Stoneman says:

    Hi Yvonne

    Just back from Ireland and received your comment today, yes I have noted many sites decorated with flowers candles and notes ,but the sites are respected and no damage is done I can only assume the chipping of the stones represent a more “Dark” motive !

  2. Yvonne says:

    I very much hope that the vandalism was not done by Pagans. There was a story recently of someone chipping bits off a stone circle for use in homoeopathic medicine, but the vast majority of Pagans would not do this. Because of the eclectic nature of Paganism and the widely distributed networks of involvement, it’s difficult to reach everyone involved and tell them not to do this kind of thing (not everyone who identifies as Pagan reads the same magazines or attends conferences where the message “take only photographs” is promoted). However most recent vandalism of stone circles and the like was not perpetrated by Pagans. I know people sometimes leave tealights and flowers and even chalk-marks (there is an ongoing effort to educate people not to do this) but actually carving on the monuments is rare.

  3. Louie says:

    Sadly, perhaps we should not only be be locating & recording rock-art locations, but also making sure they are covered up when we’re finished….?


  4. Hob says:


    Insufficient expletives…

    English Heritage inspectors (in Northumberland at least) don’t seem to give much of a thought for rock art.

    This highlights one of the dilemmas of the RAfan. To publicise or not? But if the marked stones are not made known, they’ll never get checked up on, and may get trashed in ignorance of their existance. For my ha’pennorth, the landowners have one of the major roles to play. But they need incentives to encourage effective responsible stewardship.


    PS, Paul, Roughting Linn is looking much better these days, but the quarry site at Doddington needs to be kept an eye on in case the heather burning gets any closer.

  5. Stoneman says:

    Hi Brian

    I was surprised to discover when the incident was reported to the relevant authorities that no record of the sites exist so no scheduling is in place although the adjoining local authority has records of the sites even though the sites are beyond the county boundary (is this no mans land)
    The sites were published in 1998 and some SMR Records updated with this local authority, sadly there seems no interaction between local authorities and English Heritage
    This wanton destruction of our national heritage must be taking place nationally
    In Scotland some sites are fenced off and maintained, one of England’s National treasures Roughting Linn in Northumberland was left in appalling condition over many years although fenced off this site was not maintained until just recently We need more positive interaction between land owners and local and national authorities on these matters
    It seems ludicrous that after all the tax payers money spent on committees E.H.R.A.S.G, site visits, projects N.D.R.A.P.P ,surveys, reports etc nothing appears to have been done to protect the actual sites!

  6. rockartwolf says:

    Hi Paul,

    does the site have any protection?..landowner , english heritage etc?

  7. Stoneman says:

    Hi Brian

    The vandalised site with the joined cups, is located in an area that has few marked stones left, the quarrymen in the in 18-19c has been producing gate posts most sites are now damaged with sections quarried away
    In the last thirty years one complete cup marked rock was chopped up to repair a nearby wall! Unbelievable isn’t it ?

  8. rockartwolf says:

    Hi Paul,

    So sad to see the damage done to the stones and carvings, it still amazes me as to why people do such things, what would make someone want to play join the dots on something so precious and so old?..

    words fail me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: