Lordenshaws is home to some good examples of rock art. The large main rock is carved with an example of just about every symbol found in rock art. Cups, rings, circles, lines and channels make up the complex decoration. On the North West side of the rock are what appear to be a number of wedge marks suggesting the block has been split. The block stands, unlike any other rock art at Lordenshaws, in a very conspicuous location on the summit of a ridge with stunning views over the Simonsides and up over the Cheviot

Main rockThe Main Rock at Lordenshaws

The main rock looking toward the Cheviots
The Main Rock looking towards the Cheviots

Running away from the main rock to the North West is the ridge of a medieval field boundary. By following this boundary for about 150m you will find what is known as the 'Horseshoe Rock'. It lies to the North of the boundary not far from the marker post.

As well as the normal cups and rings the rock has an unusual horse shoe like feature from which it gets its name. The interior of the horse shoe is filled with pits. It reminds me of the Great Enclosure at Ad Gefrin though it has no real connection.

The relationship between the main rock and the 'horseshoe' rock suggest that the line of this medieval boundary is superimposed on a much earlier track.

There are other examples of cup and ring markings on the rocks you can see South West of the main rock and to the North East of the hillfort. None have markings as well defined as those on the main and 'Horseshoe' rocks. In fact have tried, several times, to get lighting conditions just right so I can include a photograph of the shallow cup marks near the cairn on this site. The marks are quite feint though and I am not blessed with good luck! It is thought that these decorated rocks date from the Neolithic or New Stone Age and are about 5000 years old. It is difficult to say exactly how old they are and impossible to determine their function.