Cup-Marked Stone?: OS Grid Reference – SD 7732 3846
From Sabden village, walk up the steep Clitheroe Road towards the Nick of Pendle at the top of the hill, but take the track on your right about 100 yards before you reach the top. Walk along the footpath until it takes the gradual curve downhill, keeping your eyes peeled for a singular small stone just about 20 yards up into the grassy slope. If you’re attentive, you’ll see it!
A small but distinct “cup-marked” stone, with between eight and ten cup-markings on its southwest facing side, looking similar in design to the many on Baildon Moor in West Yorkshire, about 25 miles east of here. The potential “carving” was found by local writer and historian, John Dixon (to whom the stone owes its fascinating name), who has found several similar ‘markings’ on other stones in the region. John’s of the opinion that the cup-marks on this stone are natural, i.e., due to plant and root fossil remains leaving certain parts of the rock softer than the other, then falling away and leaving the marks we see in the photo. It could be…..but I’m no fossil expert, nor geologist. The site was first brought to light in our Forum, here.
I’m of the opinion that the cups here are pretty recent and have been caused by gunshots (though we didn’t notice any shells by the rock, tbh) and modern pecking. Some gunshot marks on stones around Rombald’s Moor and further afield have left marks very similar to the ones here. However, some archaeo’s may wanna look at this and see what they reckon. As the photograph here shows, some lines run between some of the “cups”.
If anyone goes here, tell us what you think! (as John said: “If this were in Yorkshire, they’d call it a cup-marking!” Well….some folk might do!) I said I’d add it to the site to see what others think of it, but I’m somewhat sceptical as to its prehistoric provenance — but, I’ve no letters after mi name so am probably talking bullshit. We need you professional doods to rub your fine discerning tools against it and give it your consent! Comments please…..
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian