Edge Carved Rock
Bronze Age Carved Rock
East of Baslow, Derbyshire OS Map Ref SK27287304
OS Maps - Landranger 119 (Buxton & Matlock), Explorer OL24 (The Peak District - White Peak Area)
This is a stunning carved gritstone rock set into the gentle slope behind Gardom's Edge with views eastwards towards Birchen Edge, but everything here is not what it seems.
First discovered in the mid 1960's the condition of the carvings on the earthfast rock began to deteriorate and it was decided something had to be done to protect them from the elements. This finally happened in 1996 when the original rock was buried and a polyester resin and fibreglass replica was substituted in its place. The replica is amazingly convincing and is indistinguishable from real stone until you tap it when it becomes apparent that the 'stone' is in fact hollow.
The main part of the design itself consists of a pair of conjoined ovals that both contain ten cups which are fairly evenly distributed within each oval, a deep cup or bowl with two outer rings and between the three motifs is a smaller carving that could be a spiral or possibly a modified cup and ring. The lower part of the rock also has a couple of less distinct cups with rings. There are several additional grooves along the surface, most seem to be natural but others could be man-made or even natural faults that were then enhanced by the carvers.
As always with prehistoric rock art we are left with more questions than answers. Are the carvings figurative representations of the real world, perhaps a map showing a pair of enclosures with ten round-houses within them, were they trance visions? Perhaps they were just decorative designs carved by a prehistoric shepherd to idle away a few hours while tending their flock? We will probably never know.
The rock is just to the east of Gardom's Edge Enclosure and close to several cairns.
Probable date: Bronze Age
See also other Gardom's Edge sites:
Enclosure (Meg's Wall), Pit Alignment, Ring Cairn
Round House, Standing Stone, Three Men of Gardom's
Detail of the carvings on the rock.
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