Enhanced Rock Textures

Lordenshaws rock channel Northumberland .JPG
Nature has created an incredible and beautiful variety of textures in the rocks of the earth. These rocks in turn shape the textures of the landscape and it’s feel. As we walk through the land we can experience the shifting emotions, of being within different textures of the earth. Our ancestors could feel this too, and were probably even more aware of the emotional textures of the landscape. They chose certain rock sites as having spiritual texture, and then enhanced what nature had already created. This stone channel is part of a huge complex of neolithic rock art at Lordenshaws in Northumberland. It is thought to be the longest hand cut rock channel in the UK, probably picked and deepened using deer antler tools. At the top of the rock are numerous hand cut cups about the size of my fist. The whole site is an intriguing mystery from thousands of years ago.

Dunstanburgh Castle cliff Northumberland.JPG
This incredible cauldron like cliff was cut by nature, and given a wonderful linear texture. The rocks make perfect perches for the thousands of seabirds who nest here every year. Man has exploited this textured cliff for millennia, probably enjoying the eggs of the seabirds. Neolithic flint arrowheads have been found on the cliff tops along with ancient defensive walls. However it’s defensive position and great sea views were enhanced fully when Dunstanburgh Castle was built on the cliff top. There is a great sense of safety as you gaze out from here across hundreds of miles of glittering ocean.

Hadrians Wall Northumberland.JPG
This beautiful rock face was carved and formed by the thrust of nature right across the centre of Northumberland. When the Romans arrived in Northern Britain they enhanced its defensive texture by adding Hadrian’s Wall along the top of its ridge. The wall flows and twists along the texture of the landscape, almost as though it sprang from the earth all by itself.

Cup and ring rock art Northumberland.JPG
These ancient cup and ring rock carvings are my favourite textural enhancement added by our ancestors. Found all across Britain, there are places where they are very concentrated, and all of these places have a special feel. A sense of the eternal and of power, and all of them were hand cut. Marking sacred spaces and doorways between the worlds these stone patterns whisper of wishes and prayers, of ritual and mystery. They are still here for us to see today, deep in natures heart, often a little off the beaten track.

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home with my husband, my son and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and run the Maggies Highlands Cancer Centre, in Inverness, Scotland.
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33 Responses to Enhanced Rock Textures

  1. Strong resonance with the last picture, the ring rock carving, it appears to jump out of the photo and into my being, so very alive and full of mystery and magic, as your words describes. For sure a doorway still there, perhaps entered by few these days….
    Mystery always lives off the beaten track, doesn’t it?! ๐Ÿ™‚ So very well said, Seonaid!

  2. LB says:

    Those rings are fascinating! and your words “Marking sacred spaces and doorways between the worlds these stone patterns whisper of wishes and prayers, of ritual and mystery” are beautiful. Love this post!

  3. Superb examples of texture, Seonaid. Love the ancient cup and ring carving. Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Very nice … especially the last shot. Cool. Powerful. Moving. Interesting. And, all at the same time. Haven’t seen you lately … I hope all is well. D

  5. Leya says:

    Interesting as usual, Seonaid! those cup and ring carvings are new to me – I don’t think we have them here, or at least they do not look exactly the same.

    • I think that there are ancient cup marked stones all across Scandinavia, but without the rings which are so evocative. The cup and ring marks seem to be found all along the sea coasts and ancient shipping routes of Western Europe….Spain, Northern Italy, France and of course Scotland, Ireland and Central England and Wales.

  6. vastlycurious.com says:

    The cup and ring carvings are just amazing. I have missed your blog!

  7. Fine set of images and words as usual Seonaid. And you deserve danger money – beware the hooked tee shot from the 13th at Dunstanburgh GC ๐Ÿ˜‰ – http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3022183

    • Thanks, all from your beautiful neck of the woods ๐Ÿ™‚
      I did feel slightly anxious as we walked along the edge of that golf course….but I find myself doing that so often….loving the coast and living in the land of golf there’s barely a beach here not edged by a course!

  8. Lynne Ayers says:

    Rock and stone is so timeless. Centuries from now as someone roams my garden they will wonder how stones smoothed my the rolling waves of Lake Superior ended up in southeastern Ontario … along with Carrara marble and rock so strangely similar to that found in the Pyrenees and Gibraltar and … ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. risinghawk says:

    Beautiful! And I am such a rock nut ๐Ÿ™‚ Peace . . .

  10. Amy says:

    You captured the incredible, beautiful texture of nature! The ancient cup is amazing.

  11. Seonaid, youโ€™re posts are always teaching me something new. Todayโ€™s example: โ€œIt is thought to be the longest hand cut rock channel in the UK, probably picked and deepened using deer antler tools.โ€ Amazing. Thanks.

    • It really is long John, that’s just a small part of the upper portion, as I wanted to get the sky into the photo to give context. It runs down the length of the long steep rock face in such a way that you can imagine something sacred being poured down it from the cups at the top ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Sue Vincent says:

    Beautiful pictures, Seonaid, of beautiful places. You know my feelings about the ancient landscape carved by man.. that cup and ring mark is a lovely one.. almost a labyrinth.

    • I think we feel very alike Sue when it comes to ancient landscapes enhanced by man ๐Ÿ™‚
      That cup and ring mark is from an incredible rock covered all over with cups, channels, faces….it’s amazing. This one is said to have rays radiating from the top, and is unusual because of its channel out from the centre. Some say it’s related to sun worship because of the rays….I’m not sure. The rock is red just where it’s carved….very evocative ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Beautiful, timeless landscapes and the cup and ring markings are intriguing. Like you I love to place my hand where the ancestors placed theirs.

    • Beautifully put Gilly, touching things they held or made is special……cup and ring markings are my favorite I’ve been hunting them down in remote corners for many years. I get such a thrill when I find ones which are new to me ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I’ve never met a rock I didn’t love, but your cup and ring rock carvings are amazing. Thank you for sharing and for their origin. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s always great to meet a fellow rock lover Judy. I do try not to bring too many home nowadays! The cup and ring carvings are just so evocative…..and so very old. I love to touch the marks and imagine these ancient ancestors of ours working on the rocks ๐Ÿ™‚

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