Dove Stones, Thornton Rust Moor, North Yorkshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SD 96634 87493

Also Known as:

  1. DS3 Carving (Brown & Brown, 2008)

Getting Here

Takes a bitta finding and aint too accessible for those of you who need footpaths!  Below the eastern slopes of Addlebrough Hill, by the present source of the Gill Beck right beneath the Dove Stones (the water tastes gorgeous), are the ruinous remains of an old sheepfold. In the field immediately behind (south) of here are a number of small rocks.  Look around and you’ll find the stone in question!

Archaeology & History

Unless you’re a real rock-art-freak, I can’t imagine too many of you checking this one out!  When Richard Stroud and I visited this spot a few years back (2006), it was a mixture of love and madness that brought us here!

Dove Stones Carving
Dove Stones Carving

Amidst the many stones scattered hereabouts, one of them possesses two clear cup-marks on a stone measuring roughly 3ft by 2ft, along the line of a much ruined ancient wall.  This might be the one that Beckensall and Laurie (1998) described in their Prehistoric Rock Art of County Durham, Swaledale and Wensleydale, as “a rock with several cups (which) has recently been noticed on Thornton Rust Moor, near the Dovestones” — though it seemed blatantly apparent to us that there were only two cups here, not “several”.  However, Brown (2008) appears to list the site, citing it as having “two cups”, just like the one we found, and being “found in prehistoric low field settlement wall,” which fits the picture perfectly — although Brown gives a slight difference in grid-reference to the one Richard Stroud took.  It looks a good area to scout around and, I reckon, find previously unrecorded sites.


  1. Beckensall, Stan & Laurie, T., The Prehistoric Rock Art of County Durham, Swaledale and Wensleydale, County Durham Books 1998.
  2. Brown, Paul & Barbara, Prehistoric Rock Art in the Northern Dales, Tempus: Stroud 2008.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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