Scheduled Monument

Hunter’s Craig or Eagle Rock, rock carving, DalmenySM13612

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Date Added
26/11/2015
Type
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cupmarks or cup-and-ring marks and similar rock art
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Parish
Dalmeny
NGR
NT 18451 77443
Coordinates
318451, 677443

Legal Description

The monument is a carving on a natural rock outcrop, dating probably to the Roman occupation of parts of Scotland (between about AD 71 and 213). Within a niche in the rock outcrop's near vertical E face, the rock has been carved to show an upright figure in relief, now much worn. The rock carving is located on the foreshore of the Forth Estuary, about 3m above sea level, facing ESE along a narrow beach towards the point where the River Almond flows into the Forth. The Roman fort at Cramond lies some 800m to the SE.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling includes the immediate rock outcrop on which the carving lies. The monument was first scheduled in 1921; the present amendment provides documents to modern standards.

Description

The monument is a carving on a natural rock outcrop, dating probably to the Roman occupation of parts of Scotland (between about AD 71 and 213). Within a niche in the rock outcrop's near vertical E face, the rock has been carved to show an upright figure in relief, now much worn. The rock carving is located on the foreshore of the Forth Estuary, about 3m above sea level, facing ESE along a narrow beach towards the point where the River Almond flows into the Forth. The Roman fort at Cramond lies some 800m to the SE.

The niche that frames the carving is about 0.85m high, 0.73m wide and 0.25m deep, and the figure stands out about 110mm in relief. Because the carving is very worn, precise characterisation and identification of the figure is difficult. The figure has traditionally been identified as an eagle, but modern researchers view the carving as a Genius (the spirit of a person or place). It is suggested that the figure probably has a cornucopia (horn of plenty) in the crook of the left arm, and a patera (bowl) in the right hand, over an altar. It may be wearing a mural crown, though this is not clear. Below is a rectangular panel that may have been intended to bear an inscription. Although the carving is worn, its overall character and position close to Cramond Roman Fort and the Forth river crossing make its attribution to the Roman period convincing.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling includes the immediate rock outcrop on which the carving lies. The monument was first scheduled in 1921; the present amendment provides documents to modern standards.

Statement of National Importance

The monument has significant potential to enhance our understanding and appreciation of the Roman presence on the S shore of the Forth. It has particular potential to expand our understanding of how the Romans interacted with the Forth Estuary and its landscape, and commemorated spirits, gods or events. This type of Roman carving on rock is very rare or unknown in Scotland, and very rare more widely in the British Isles. It remains a striking piece of visible evidence for Roman activity here and complements the significant Roman remains at Cramond. It would have been an important part of the historic landscape, particularly because of its position close to a crossing point of the Forth. Our understanding of Roman activities and occupation in Scotland, and the distribution, character and meaning of Roman rock carving, would be significantly diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

 

References

Bibliography

The monument is in the care of Scottish Ministers.

It is recorded by RCAHMS as NT17NE 11. The record contains a bibliography of sources that describe the monument.

Keppie, L J F and Arnold, B J, 1984 Corpus Signorum Imperii Romani. Corpus of Sculpture of the Roman World, Great Britain vol 1 Fasicule 4, Oxford University Press. No 65.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Eagle Rock

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/eagle-rock

Find out more

Related Designations

  1. DALMENYGDL00130

    Designation Type
    Garden & Designed Landscape
    Status
    Designated

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at www.historicenvironment.scot.

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot. You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 14/12/2018 22:19