About Lordenshaw's Rock Art
Neolithic 1000-2000 BC
Lordenshaw lies to the south of Rothbury, below the impressive sandstone Simonside hills and on St Oswald's Way.The site is a scheduled ancient monument because of its impressive remains of an Iron Age hill fort and its varied rock art, seen throughout Northumberland.
Prominent on the hilltop is a 'fort', a ditched Iron Age enclosure that has been re-used as a Romano-British settlement. The slope southwards to the modern road and car park has many field walls, some of cobble and soil construction, and others of vertically-set sandstones. Some of these walls cross one another, and represent different episodes in the use of the land.
The oldest features are the cup and ring marked rocks belonging to the Neolithic period. There are over 100 carved rocks at Lordenshaws, making it the most concentrated assemblage of rock art in Northumberland and perhaps the UK. Although it is impossible to accurately date outcrop markings, in this area three possible Early Bronze Age cairns have been built on marked outcrop rock, showing that the sites were already of great importance in the landscape before the cairns were added.
There is evidence of considerable removal of rock for building and consequent damage to carvings. Even so, Lordenshaws represents a highly important archaeological area within Northumberland National Park.