Drumtroddan Rock Art - Atlas Obscura

Drumtroddan Rock Art

Mochrum, Scotland

Carved between 3500 and 1000 B.C., the distinctive carvings at this site are poorly understood. 


The Drumtroddan Rock Art site is made up of three groups of cup and ring-marked stones. Two of the groupings lie in a field, while a third is a small distance away in the coppice beyond a dyke. These carved stones probably date to the Neolithic or early Bronze Age, between 3500 and 1000 B.C.

The carved stones at Drumtroddan are among some of the most visible remains of the ancient inhabitants’ culture. Cup and ring marks were carefully executed using hard stone tools.

There are at least 84 cup and ring marks, possibly more, at Drumtroddan. This includes over 64 cup marks, some with rings and some without. Cup marks are small depressions, sometimes accompanied by surrounding rings. How many you are able to find entirely depends on the lighting conditions when you visit and how long you are willing to stare at the rock faces.

They are usually found densely covering large expanses of rock. The variety of the carvings at Drumtroddan is striking, with some ring marks forming complete circles, while others are incomplete. Some show a radial groove running from the center of the circle and consist of as many as six rings.  

It is not known for certain why these markings were made, but one possible explanation is that they were territory markers, this is made plausible by the fact they are frequently found in locations with good views of the surrounding land. Other theories about their possible purposes include prehistoric belief systems, mapping, and metal prospecting.  

It is thought that there may be a link to the Drumtroddan Standing Stones found 400 meters to the northeast.

Know Before You Go

Park at the marked location in the farm yard nearby and follow the marked trail.  There is an honesty box to place your 50p for parking in.

There may be livestock in the field so leave any dogs in the car. 

It's easy to locate the carvings as they are fenced in to protect them from grazing livestock. 

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August 24, 2023

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