Netherfield, Lockington, Leicestershire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SK 471 291

Also Known as:

  1. Lockington Cup-Marking

Archaeology & History

Prehistoric petroglyphs are rare things indeed in Leicestershire!  But the example that was found here — at the now destroyed prehistoric tomb  which archaeologists catalogued as ‘Lockington Barrow VI’ in this small graveyard — shows that such ritual art spreads further afield than previously reported by archaeologists.  Yet as with countless other cup-marked stones, it should come as no surprise to be found associated with a tumulus.   Death and petroglyphs are common bedfellows – even in this part of Britain!

Lockington cup-marking (courtesy Gwilym Hughes)
Lockington cup-marked stone

Found on the northern edge of a ring ditch surrounding this once-fine tomb, the carving was found on a small, triangular-shaped, broken piece of rock , less than 12 inches across along its longest side.  The small stone has what seems to be eight cup-marks (5 seem certain) pecked onto the stone: simple, without additional ingredients, akin to the basic forms found at Baildon and other more northern climes.  The stone itself didn’t seem to be local and was thought by Hughes (2000) “to be from one of the outcrops of millstone grit to the north of the site in southern Derbyshire.”

Less than 7 feet from this petroglyph, inside the barrow, was a pit containing a hoard of ancient gold and copper ware — though any likely relationship between the carving and the treasure hoard is doubtful.  The carving was probably a “portable” relic, carried some distance and put here for some reason or other: perhaps as an offering; perhaps a magickal artifact — we’ll probably never know…


  1. Hughes, Gwilym (ed.), The Lockington Gold Hoard: An Early Bronze Age Barrow Cemetery at Lockington, Leicestershire, Oxbow: Oxford 2000.
  2. Hughes, Gwilym, “The Cup Marked Stone,” in The Lockington Gold Hoard, Oxford 2000.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

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