Slide by Stan Beckensall
Panel image showing Roughting Linn
Note: this applies to the entire panel, which might not be portrayed in its entirety in the image shown above
Much of the art is of the cup and ring type, quite deeply pecked in, especially on the circumference, and what is also so interesting about the way this rock has been used is that there is such a variety of motifs. Near the top of the dome slope are flower-like stems with heads made of a cup surrounded by a ring. Some of these grooves join each other, and some end in small cups. There are clusters of cups enclosed by grooves, interconnecting with other enclosed cups. There are, uniquely, nine radiates springing from the outer of two penannulars around a cup, itself connected to other figures, The SE slope includes concentric inverted arcs, and a variation of the cup and ring theme is the use of parallel grooves, six in the case of two linked figures.
Erosion has taken its toll in a hollow to the SE, but it has been possible through careful rubbing and by a replica made by John Price (formerly a Conservator at English Heritage), to trace the nature of these figures. Slightly higher up the rock, above these, is by contrast a heavily-picked pair of concentric penannulars with a row of cups above that. The concentric grooves have been made by joining together separately-made cups; the divisions between these cups are still clear.
At first sight, the cups and rings look similar, but closer inspection shows some interesting difference.
To the SE of the quarried gash the ends of two penannulars are joined, and in the space between are three tiny cups in a row. Attached to the outside penannular of another is a hook-like groove. To the north, two grooves run uphill from the circles, and one group of four concentric circles has a diametric groove through the central cup.
The drawings, checked many times in different lights, show some figures fainter than others, not necessarily a result of erosion, but of being put on faintly originally, and perhaps unfinished.
DETAILS OF THE CARVINGS
Group A (North slope)
This part of the rock is an elongated slope bounded on the south by a quarried gap. There is a natural crack running from east to west. To the north of this are three figures. The most easterly is a cup and ring, with a duct running up the rock from this ring, a second broken ring, and a third angular ring enclosing the whole figure, but gapped where the duct emerges. This outer ring follows a natural fault in the rock that had already produced a raised diamond-shaped feature that the ring largely follows.
Next to this is a small figure of three rings on the east side around a centre that has pick marks but no cup, and on the west the three rings flatten into two. This outer ring seems to run into some difficulty where the rock is irregular, and at the top of the curve is an arc of three cups defining its path. A small groove runs up the rock from the outer ring.
The westerly figure has a cup with a duct running down the rock, two complete rings, a third incomplete ring, and a fourth ring enclosing the whole. In strong light the irregular blows of the chisel that have made the motifs can be seen.
To the south of the crack is a natural small basin at the east end, which has the addition of a partial ring. West of it is a rough cup with a possible ring, then a more distinct figure of a cup and penannular and a broken penannular concentric to it. An incomplete figure of two concentric rings lies west, then there is a fault in the rock like a bridge.. This bridge has a groove added that could have held a tether.
Another small figure of cup with two rings follows, then a large figure of four well-spaced concentric penannulars around a cup that is bisected by a radial groove. The outer ring ends at crack, which cuts it off. A faint large cup lies outside the outer ring. To the NW are a faint cup, an arc, and a figure of a cup, ring with a duct, and two outer concentric penannulars.
A natural depression in the rock separates these figures from a spread of smaller ones to the west. These are faint, but one has a cup, duct and two broken rings, a ring that surrounds some faint pecking, a cup, duct and arc, a cup and ring, cup, duct and penannular, and a cup and penannular.
Most of the ducts follow the downward slope of the rock, but three go upwards.
This part of the outcrop slopes eastward, the largest cup and ring motifs concentrating near the east edge, although there are some small cups and a small cup and ring below them.
The most easterly figure has a cup not central to its rings, and from it a duct runs to the edge of the rock. Penannulars round the cup are drawn down the rock, making them more pear-shaped than circular. The first two, deeply-picked, with the tool marks clear, stop at the duct. The next pair stop at the north side of the duct, but the other two are looped, and inside the loop are three small cups in an arc. There are signs that the line of this arc continues down the rock to meet the duct. The arc of cups also suggests that an extra ring may have been considered between rings 3 and 4, but this is unlikely further up the slope as the gap is too narrow for an extra ring.
Attached to the outside ring is a cup and angular ring in a natural small depression, and separate from that is a groove that touches the ring from the outside.
To the west of this figure is a large deep cup with a duct that follows the slope eastward, and round it are concentric rings that have been cut off by quarrying. The cup has three concentric penannulars, rather angular, and a groove begins to lead down the slope eastward from the gap in the third ring. Outside is a fourth ring, but to the west it is almost erased.
Further west, and also cut by quarrying, is a small cup surrounded by three rings that end with a fault in the rock that forms a minor edge. It is not clear what happens at this point. There is one small outer arc that does not continue as a fourth ring.
To return to the eastern edge, the next figure is a deep cup and duct with a penannular. A second concentric penannular, slightly interrupted by a fault in the rock, shows deep pick marks. Added to it is a hooked groove, like a handle, and south of that are two deep cups, one with faint traces of a ring.
To the west is another deeply-picked figure, beyond the small natural ridge in the rock that runs obliquely across it, with a large cup and thin duct surrounded by two deep penannulars. Like all the others, the penannulars open at the down-slope, and the ducts run downwards. Further west is another set of cups and rings, this time a ductless cup with three deep penannulars.
Between the two figures just described is a deep cup with a thin groove to the south, and east of it is a thin arc. There are some other traces of cups and small grooves that are more related to the more delicate figures now to be described:
Although cups and rings are still integral parts of the design, the next group concentrates on linked long grooves that follow the rock slope down. At the head of one motif is a wide cup with a ring from which a linear groove extends. The line joins the duct of a similar motif: a cup with a ring. At the place where the two grooves meet, the groove changes direction slightly before continuing down the slope, where it ends close to two cups. A third figure, a penannular around a cup from which a groove runs, is almost linked to the other two, but it does not quite reach. It may be related to the cup with an arc below it, already described.
Close to the head of these three sets of motifs (of cup, ring and long duct) is a large cup with a semicircular arc, a cup with a small arc, and two cups.
A similar group of flower-like motifs lie to the north of C, but between them is a panel of motifs of a different kind. It is separated from the NW part of the rock by a natural depression, and by a natural channel to the SE, forming a slightly domed surface.
At the top of the slope is a cup set high in a well-made, gapped ring, and a thin duct from this cup joins it to another cup further down the rock, also with a gapped ring, forming a figure of eight around the two linked cups. Parallel to this on the south is a line of five cups, one with a penannular. To the north, just outside the curve of the figure of eight, is a large cup.
The lower part of the outcrop is taken up by a wide cup with a penannular, below the opening of which is a polygonal groove (open at the north end) that encloses 5 distinct cups. On the SE this enclosure groove cuts through the open ring around a cup, from which a small duct runs. To the south are eleven cups in what appears to be a random scatter. There are two cups on the opposite side.
The rock is naturally split to the NE, with some cups at the split edge, then two large cups lead on to the deep concentric ringed figures of Group B.
Echoing C, there are two figures linked by grooves. A cup has an incomplete ring, from the ends of which two serpentine, parallel grooves run down the rock and end in small cups. To the north, a cup has a duct running to a small cup also. From the end of the arc another groove runs to meet the groove of its neighbour. The three terminal cups are in line. Another groove runs away north to the edge, but this may be natural, or enhanced. On the south side it seems that a third linked figure was contemplated, but not completed: a cup has a penannular with its opening facing up the slope; one terminal has a groove running up the rock to a deep cup. There are seven other cups to the south of this, the most southerly beginning a serpentine groove (perhaps natural) that runs into another large cup further down the slope.
Below all this (E) is a little promontory of outcrop with a rosette: a central cup with seven others around it, and another cup outside the circle.
These motifs, like many others, leave a strong impression that the patterns/designs/concepts grew as someone began to chip at the rock, and that there was no overall premeditated plan, nor any worry about finishing everything symmetrically.
The SE slope of this outcrop has unusual motifs. The slope is steep, and the depression in the rock above it is mostly a natural feature.
To the south is a small cup, an arc (unfinished ring?) and two concentric rings that are not complete at the bottom. Then there is a cup and duct with arcs of three concentric rings, and although the north part of this figure is clearly defined, the rest is either eroded or unfinished.
Further north there are several indistinct figures, including a deep cup with two arcs, an oval with a vertical line, and a figure that looks like a trilithon.
At the top of the slope, with the hollow behind, is a row of varied figures, beginning with three inverted Us (or semi-ovoids), and a deep cup and duct. Next is a cup and duct with an arc above the cup that extends downward on either side of the duct, parallel to it, thus forming three parallel lines. A second, outer ring is concentric to the inner arc, but continues to enclose the next figure to the north in a figure-of-eight. This figure has a central cup with a duct, and two concentric penannulars, the RHS one continuing down the slope as a groove, and forming part of the figure-of-eight at the top. Between this and the next figure is a vertical, unattached linear groove. The distinct parallelism of these combined figures continues with the next figure, which has a cup and linear groove parallel to the others, and three concentric rings that disappear over the top edge of the rock where the hollow is. To the north is a cup high in a penannular, with a concentric penannular outside it. A small cup lies outside, followed by a crack in the rock that separates it from the next figure: two broken concentric rings around an oval hole in the rock.
On the opposite side of the hollow are some partial figures: two cups, a cup and arc, a large and small cup and arc, and a distinct cup, gap, duct, inner ring, and an incomplete outer ring. Usually covered over, to the north are two concentric arcs with no cup, and some fragmentary grooves.
West of the markings just described, the rock slopes into an area slightly sunken, and subject to erosion, for water or ice frequently lie in it. Despite the erosion, it has been possible to give a clear picture of what was picked onto the surface, through wax rubbings and through the model made of it by English Heritage conservator, John Price, whose panel has the advantage of being capable of being turned into strong oblique light.
At the south end of the hollow, where there are some small nodules of natural iron in the rock, is a deeply-marked cup and duct, with two concentric penannulars. The outer ring has nine thin radiating lines that end in small cups - a unique motif. The duct continues towards other figures, passing through two symmetrical arcs that face each other at their open ends. Close to one arc is a small cup and ring. Motifs that stand out most boldly are a cup, duct and two penannulars, with an outer arc that meets an irregular near-oval enclosure with faint traces of arcs inside it. A groove from the outside of this enclosure becomes the duct to a cup with a penannular and a concentric ring, with traces of an outer ring that links it to the figure below. There are other faint grooves, and one clear figure of a cup and three rings.
To the south is a cup, duct, and three penannulars.
West, on the edge of the rock, is a line of four deep cups, below which is a cup and two penannulars that are heavily picked into the rock with a wide point, and the rings are made by joining together a series of cups. This contrasts with a fainter figure of a small cup and two or three broken concentric rings to the north.
This includes most of the remaining motifs, on the top of the outcrop and on the rough downslope to the south.
The top of the rock is naturally pitted with channels and small basins by the action of weathering, but the channels that run down the rock from these to the south edge are enhanced to form a distinct feature. On the south slope, despite its very rugged surface, cups and rings have been imposed. They are not easy to distinguish among the natural indentations, but three figures have a central cup, one with two or possibly three rings, another with a duct and three rings and an outer arc, while the third has traces of three rings. The main feature on the slope is a long, deep channel similar to one at Chatton Park Hill.
There are three other motifs on the dome of the rock, consisting of a cup and two penannulars, a cup, ring and broken outer ring, and a figure on a minor edge that has a cup and three rings.
From here the top surface of the massive outcrop has been quarried away, but there is one motif surviving on the west edge that shows that its surface may have been marked all over: a small cup and two concentric penannulars, an incomplete ring, and two more penannulars ending at a slightly curved groove.