This stone sits on top of what is thought to be a burial mound, in a field west of Fountains Abbey, nr Ripon, North Yorkshire.
Small indentations at the tree end of the stone look typical of carved ‘cup marks’, generally believed to date from the late Neolithic to early Bronze Age (approx 6000-4000 yrs ago). Although a number of veins, possibly iron, are present on the stone, the profile of the cups would suggest they’re unlikely to be formed by concretive or nodular action.
At the other end of the stone a square basin and channel of unknown provenance has been cut by a metal tool. Although the reason for this basin is not known, a number of suggestions have been put forward such as mediaeval cross base, socket stone, basin, calfing stone or plague stone (usually circular, but some had channels cut)
The stone has been dislodged by the growing tree, which itself is believed to be around 150 yrs old (by girth measurement).