Ball Cross Carving 02, Bakewell, Derbyshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SK 231 691

Archaeology & History

Ball Cross 2 Carving (after Beckensall)
Ball Cross 2 Carving (after Beckensall)

One of three carvings that were located inside the walling of the Ball Cross hillfort during excavations here in the early 1950s by J. Stanley. (1954)  Each carving is distinctly unlike the other in design (see Ball Cross 1 and Ball Cross 3) and it’s highly probable that they were incorporated into the Iron Age structure with their original mythic functions—of neolithic or Bronze Age origin—disused. It is not unlikely that this and its compatriots were originally found in association with the nearby prehistoric tombs.

Ball Cross 2 Carving (photo by Dean Thom)
Ball Cross 2 Carving (photo by Dean Thom)

The broken piece of rock consists of a broken section of an almost archetypal ‘cup-and-ring’—although with this design, no central ‘cup’ occurs: a pattern found at several other multiple-ring stones, like the Grey Stone near Leeds.  Although Stan Beckensall (1999) described this to have “8 concentric rings”, his drawing and the photo here by Dean Thom, clearly show only seven such ‘rings’.  The carving presently lives in a protective box in Sheffield Museum (though beware the listing they give of the designs, as some are incorrect).

References:

  1. Barnatt, John & Reeder, Phil, “Prehistoric Rock Art in the Peak District,” in Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, 102, 1982.
  2. Beckensall, Stan, British Prehistoric Rock Art, Tempus: Stroud 1999.
  3. Beckensall, Stan, Circles in Stone: A British Prehistoric Mystery, Tempus: Stroud 2006.
  4. Cooper, Ali, Archaeology Walks in the Peak District, Sigma: Wilmslow 2010.
  5. Morgan, Victorian & Paul, Rock Around the Peak, Sigma: Wilmslow 2001.
  6. Stanley, J., “An Iron Age fort at Ball Cross Farm, Bakewell,” in Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, volume 74, 1954.

Acknowledgements:  HUGE thanks to Dean Thom for the use of his photo, plus helpful references on this site.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Ball Cross (2) CR

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Ball Cross (2) CR 53.218625, -1.656877 Ball Cross (2) CR

Ball Cross Carving 01, Bakewell, Derbyshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SK 2310 6911

Archaeology & History

Ball Cross 01 Carving (photo © Dean Thom)
Ball Cross 01 Carving (photo © Dean Thom)

This is another carving (one of three here) that was removed from its landscape setting when found during excavations of the Iron Age hillfort of Ball Cross in the 1950s, and then placed into a box in Sheffield Museum, decontextualizing it and leaving future researchers slightly in the dark as to its possible nature.  In removing the carving from its site, the stone was left with additional scratches and grooves slightly damaging the stone.  Not good!

Ball Cross Carving (after Beckensall)
Ball Cross Carving (after Beckensall)
Ball Cross Carving (after A. Cooper)
Ball Cross Carving (after A. Cooper)

Although unlike the Ball Cross 2 and 3 carvings, the design here is structurally very similar to that found east of Gardoms Edge, with this one comprising of a large unbroken carved oval, with at least twelve cup-marks inside.  Or as Beckensall (1999) described, it “has 12 cups inside a flattened ring.”  Again, like the Gardoms Edge carving, a single cup-mark was etched outside of the enclosed ring. It was found with its companion carvings built into the main walled structure of the hillfort.  It’s unlikely that the stones date from the same age as the hillfort: more probable that they were re-used in the structure, with their mythic nature perhaps already long forgotten…

References:

  1. Barnatt, John & Reeder, Phil, “Prehistoric Rock Art in the Peak District,” in Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, 102, 1982.
  2. Beckensall, Stan, British Prehistoric Rock Art, Tempus: Stroud 1999.
  3. Beckensall, Stan, Circles in Stone: A British Prehistoric Mystery, Tempus: Stroud 2006.
  4. Cooper, Ali, Archaeology Walks in the Peak District, Sigma: Wilmslow 2010.
  5. Morgan, Victorian & Paul, Rock Around the Peak, Sigma: Wilmslow 2001.
  6. Stanley, J., “An Iron Age fort at Ball Cross Farm, Bakewell,” in Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, volume 74, 1954.

Acknowledgements:  HUGE thanks to Dean Thom for the use of his photo, plus helpful data on this site.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

Ball Cross (1) CR

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Ball Cross (1) CR 53.218674, -1.655794 Ball Cross (1) CR