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The Delamere Stone - A Rare Find

15/04/24
Delamere Stone

Whilst out walking his dog in Delamere Forest during the winter of 2021, our ex-chairman David Joyce came across an unusual stone embedded in a recently re-cut pathway.

On it was a spiral carving very reminiscent of bronze age rock art. He sent a photo to trustee, Peter Winn, who is an archaeology enthusiast and soon some key local archaeologists had been alerted.

This brought a visit from George Nash, a national expert in prehistoric rock art and, fearing for the safety of the find in its exposed position, it was lifted for safe-keeping until George could publish his verdict.

That verdict is now published in the latest edition of the Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society, Vol 93 pp 7-14.

In summary, the tooling appears to have been by a metal implement which indicates that it is likely to have been no older than the late bronze age or Iron age. Earlier examples were pecked with stone chisels.

Its location on the forest floor is probably not where the stone was engraved but its origin is unclear.

However, we are reminded that only a few years ago a large boulder with four 'cup marks' of prehistoric origin was discovered at a dig on the nearby Eddisbury hillfort.

These are very rare finds in Cheshire but similar have been found in North Wales so, if the spiral is indeed prehistoric, it represents an important addition to our knowledge of our distant ancestors.

The stone is currently in the possession of Forestry England, Ecology and Heritage Works, Delamere Centre.