Forty Acres (3), Stelling, Marske, North Yorkshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NZ 0758 0058

Getting Here

Surface of Forty Acres 3 carving
Surface of Forty Acres (3) CnR

From Marske village, take the road west and uphill to the villages of Fremington and Reeth.  At the top of the hill where the fields open up, several hundred yards along on your right, past the field with the track, a footpath sign points you up onto the moor. Go up the field till you hit the wall that goes right to the top of the moor. Where the four walls meet, go straight across and then walk northwards along the line of walling for 2-300 yards, keeping your eyes peeled for a solitary stone on its own, 100 yards west.  You’ll find it.

Archaeology & History

Deep carved line features
Deep carved line features

A pretty basic petroglyph located within a massive arena of prehistoric sites dating from the neolithic and continuing through the Bronze Age period and beyond.  Found a few hundred yards northwest of the once giant cairn of Cock Howe, this design is characterized mainly by the two large deep channels deliberately cut into the stone that run from the middle of the upper surface down to ground level.  One of them emerges from a single cup-marking, at an angle; whilst the other comes from the edge of a natural crack in the rock.  The channels are wide and flattened. Other faint lines can be discerned too, which may have originally been carved.  We need to explore this design in different lighting conditions to see if there are additional features here.

Looking east-ish
Looking east-ish

An archetypal cup-marking can seen on the vertical edge of the stone and three other faint ones scatter the top.  Another small ‘cup’ is along the southern vertical face of the rock which, when we found it, thought was natural; but a photograph of the stone by James Elkington seems to show a ring surrounding much of the cup-mark.  We need to go back and take another look at the place.

A number of other carvings described in Paul and Barbara Brown’s (2008) survey can be found in the region.


  1. Brown, Paul & Barbara, Prehistoric Rock Art in the Northern Dales, Tempus: Stroud 2008.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian