Tuesday 31 January 2012

An unexpected treat at the Langdale Boulders

The Sunday afternoon of my weekend with Mark saw us heading down to the Langdale Boulders.

If you read this blog with any regularity, you can probably guess why we were there. 

Initially though, my attention was taken with something rather different to pockets and cracks and edges and other such things into which fingers and toes can be stuffed to aid vaguely upward motion. 
First, Mark pointed out this:

As I'm sure you've spotted, this is actually a drawing of the real thing; the real thing being a drawing.

Sorry. Once I'd worked that one out in my head, I couldn't resist the balance.

I'll be clearer.

The Langdale Boulders boast one of the most intricate and impressive examples of pre-historic rock art in Cumbria. This artwork is thought to date back as far as the Neolithic (or Bronze) Age which occurred between 3000 and 5000 years ago! No wonder the patterns look a little eroded!

Amazingly, the carvings were only rediscovered in 1992! (Though I bet some local people knew they were there; even if not what they actually were!)

There is a small information board which shows the original design as it has been painstakingly retraced (part of which is my photo above).

The board states:
They include concentric circles, spirals and geometric designs arranged around a series of natural circular depressions or 'vesicles' in the rock.

No one is quite sure why they were drawn here, but archaeologists have speculated that maybe they are a way of expressing belonging in the natural landscape.

The artwork is cared for by the National Trust and climbers are requested, by both the NT and the British Mountaineering Council, to avoid climbing around the area of the carvings.

Mind-blowing to touch something which another human being touched as long ago as 3000 years!


  1. Wow, they look incredible :-) I wonder how much prehistoric art is still out there in plain sight, waiting to be discovered.

  2. Obviously you have discovered the inspiration for the friendship sharing site "Google+ Circles"

  3. These look reminiscent of the 'cup and ring' marks found on stones on Baildon Moor.

  4. Oh Goodness, Love the drawing. It is enchanting ! When I see something like is all I can think is what do the dots mean, where are the lines going what does it all mean, 3000 years ago and it is still there ! wonderful
    Love the second photo looks like magic to me !

    cheers, parsnip