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This is the ‘Tree of Life’ Neolithic rock carving – lying deep in the moorland heather about 10 minutes from my house. I make no excuses for publishing another post about this amazing rock – I did one a couple of years ago but the photo I took wasn’t very clear.

I was up there a couple of days ago as the sun was setting and I took this one – which I think is much better.


Although the pattern is etched quite deeply into the rock – an inch or so, due to the angle of the rock the image is only really visible at certain times of day, or when the rock is wet. I don’t know if it was deliberately created this way, but lots of rock art is only really visible when the light is at a certain angle.

The rock is in the middle of the Snowden Carr (unexcavated) settlement, and contains dozens of other pieces of rock art – but this is one of the best ones. It is a superb example of Bronze Age art. Like all the other rock art on these moors no one knows it’s age or meaning. We can only speculate.

No one ever goes up here, it is just open moorland with no paths and I guess most people aren’t aware of the secrets – in all the years I have been on these moors I have yet to see another soul. A friend of mine discovered a major prehistoric burial a hundred yards away, but no one ever came to investigate – not even the archaeologists, despite the fact that it was published in the local press.

Wandering all alone at dusk around these superb carvings is truly a mindblowing experience, and one that has to be experienced. I would rather be here than at the more famous ‘touristy’ prehistoric sites along with dozens of other people.

You can read more about the Tree of life here.