Still at original location
- Art in Landscape – Outcrop
(longest x orthogonal dimensions)
100 x 55cm
Gled Law is the continuation of the Dod Law scarp SW, with a similar view across the Till valley to the west, and sight of the river as it breaks through the scarp from the east to Weetwood Bridge. It is divided from the Buttony sites to the east by a small stream and valley.
Although motifs on it have disappeared, George Tate (1865) has left an account and drawings of them. He says, "On the scalp of the rock where it dips into the hill, four figures are traceable; but from being very much defaced, it is difficult to make out these forms, even when viewed under a favourable light". The figures that he draws are a cup and ring, a cup, ring, a second interrupted ring from which curved grooves extend, a cup and three concentric rings, and a cup and two concentric rings. On the perpendicular western face he found and drew some other designs which are not of the same type; he thought them more likely to be medieval. The importance of this place therefore continued, and from it the Milfield Plain and Cheviots are viewed.
The landscape has changed since then, in that some monuments have been cleared away. The most recent disturbance is the laying of a gas pipeline. The ritual significance of the area is suggested by reports of burials.
At NU 00570 30620 (Mill Lands), W Procter reported that " In 1867 a cist was uncovered by the plough in a field near this (Gled Law) quite close to 'Cuddy's Cove'. Greenwell wrote, "The cist was found on June 21, 1867, in a sandy knoll rising from the River Till and in close proximity to one of the rocks engraved with the circular markings". This has gone.
Davison and Davison (1935-6) said that "evidence still exists to show that Gled Law was used for burial purposes. It would be interesting to excavate at least two of the large mounds on the hill, either of which may be a barrow."
It is likely that more archaeology has been destroyed or covered over. For example, Mr Davison also recorded "One cup with a faintly discernible ring" where it is now pasture.
Mr. Tate reported that by 1868 "seven groups of inscriptions have recently been discovered. In this assemblage of sculptures, there are traceable thirty-six figures, mostly typical forms; yet in some cases, so varied and combined, as to present new figures." Plate V shows them, drawn from rubbings made by Mr. William Procter, Jnr. Mr. Bruce also drew some of them.
The figures on Gled Law Site 2a in my illustration, with its three radial grooves, was discovered by Mrs. Procter. Mr. Tate says, " The whole of these sculptures were rudely formed, the incisions are shallow, and the tool marks distinct; the circles are irregular and had evidently been drawn without instrumental aid." He also noted that, "About fifty yards from these sculptures, Mr. Procter has recently discovered the fragments of a sepulchral urn of the ordinary ancient British type." His observations on how the motifs were made suggests that the rocks had been covered over for some time, leaving the motifs more or less in their pristine state. What Mr. Tate considered "rudely formed" means that no attempt had been made to deepen or smooth the cups and grooves; they were left with the pick marks clear.
This outcrop has two figures. To the right is a cup with three penannulars which are not in alignment with each other. To the left is a cup with a duct at the centre of three penannulars, the outer edge of one being damaged.