Beneath the tree to the left is a group of large boulders of volcanic ash deposited by glaciers at the end of the last ice age. It stands between Great Langdale Beck and the road that leads west to the axe factory at the Pike of Stickle, amongst the Langdale Pikes seen in the distance. On the eastern face of the rock are a complex series of carvings that consist of several groups of concentric rings with some linear grooves and groups of micro-cups.
What is amazing is that despite the fact that the boulder is popular with climbers and the whole area popular with walkers and holiday makers these late Neolithic or Bronze Age carvings were not recognised as such until as recently as 1999.
Phil’s painting of the boulder is currently on display until 6th September at the Lake Artists summer exhibition, at The New Hall, Grasmere.
It is thought that this site was linked in some way with the nearby axe factory; the Langdale Beck valley would have made an easy route eastwards for the transportation of the axe blanks and it could even be the case that the carvings represent a stylised map of the peaks and features of the area.
Metal leaf, coloured ink and beeswax on watercolour paper.