Bronze Age Carved Rock (PRANYM PH1*)
Raven Hall Hotel, Ravenscar, North Yorkshire OS Map Ref NZ981018
OS Maps - Landranger 94 (Whitby & Esk Dale), Explorer OL27 (North York Moors - Eastern Area)
This carved rock is not in its original position, so we have no context in which to guess its meaning or purpose. What we do know it that it probably came from an excavated Bronze Age barrow on Fylingdales Moor sometime in the 19th century and somehow ended up cemented into a wall within the grounds of the Raven Hall Hotel in Ravenscar. The redoubtable Canon Greenwell wrote in 1890 that there were actually eight carved rocks stored at the hotel - these other carvings have since been moved or lost. This one remaining carved rock has a shallow cup and three sets of concentric penannulars from which three lines of grooves extend at an angle to form what is known as a keyhole motif. The whole design has been quite lightly pecked out of the surface of the rock and the original pick marks can still be clearly seen. This suggests that the rock has not been exposed to the elements for long and would accord with the reports of it being found within the protecting mound of an barrow or cairn.
*Update: Stone number PH1 in Chappell & Brown's 'Prehistoric Rock Art in the North York Moors' 2005 (PRANYM), it is now thought it may have come from one of the barrows that once stood a short distance to the south of the Hotel. See also York Museum Stone which may be one of the lost stones mentioned above, another may be located in Scarborough Museum. Well done to Graeme and Paul for some excellent detective work.
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