Stone Circle: OS Grid Reference – SK 2154 8684
Also Known as:
- The Seven Stones of Hordron
Park up at Cut Throat bridge on the A57 or alternatively at the huge parking area that’s signposted a little further uphill. Either way, the easiest access point is at Cut Throat Bridge – though be aware the route between the two areas is the narrow grassy verge of the road: take care, kids and dogs on a very short rein! There are many ways to access the circle but I’ll deal with only two here: one, a scramble up the steep bank of the edge; and the other, a longer route which takes in a quite a steep path, but is much easier than the first option if you’re not up for a scramble!
Route 1: The shorter scrambly route – Climb the stile into the wooded area & follow the path till your out of the wood, carry on for another 100 metres then head to your left & up the banking. The circle is thereabouts 40 metres onto the moor in the grassland, not the heather.
Route 2: The longer way but following a relatively easy path – Access the moor via the stile and just follow the path for around ½-mile till it veers to the left at Jarvis Clough & takes a steep route uphill. You then need to head left along the edge for around ¼-mile till you see the circle off to your right in the grassland.
Archaeology and History
Don’t let the bastardization of this site’s name fool you! The seven stones actually number between 9 and 24, depending on the season and the growth around them. They’re laid out in a rough free standing circle around 15.5 metres in diameter.
One of the largest stones to the SW is said to mimic the profile of Lose Hill — which it does sort of if you have a vivid imagination. But it’s not half as close as the top of the stone matches the profile of Lose hill off to your right. It is a complete coincidence of course. The stone has suffered much weathering over the millennia and I’m in no doubt it wasn’t an intended original feature. (see pic, right)
Previously, and at some time preceding the 1992 excavations at the site by John Barnatt, the circle was “tampered” with, leading to a thorough investigation that unearthed several more buried stones, one of which was re-erected.
All in all a fantastically preserved circle and one of the best examples in Derbyshire that’s well worth the effort of a visit. Watch the weather though; as on all but one of my visits I’ve been drenched!. The “wow” factor of this site however, makes that a small price to pay for such an awe-inspiring excursion. With Win Hill and Lose hill looming large to the southwest, Stanage Edge off to the southeast and the great outcrop of Ladybower Tor with it’s rock art to the west, this circle has some of the best scenery of any the circles in Derbyshire.
The stone that alleges to line-up with Lose Hill is also known by some of the more imaginitive as the Fairy Stone and there have been reports of strange lights and other phenomena reported around it. I’ve been up here on probably a dozen occasions and never witnessed anything strange — but then I’m often accused of being closed-minded. Another way of saying “non gullible” in my book!
- Armitage, Harold, Early Man in Hallamshire, Sampson Low: London 1939.
- Barnatt, John, Stone Circles of the Peak, Turnstone: London 1978.
- Burl, Aubrey, The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, Yale University Press 2000.
- Thom, A., Thom, A.S. & Burl, Aubrey, Megalithic Rings, BAR 81: Oxford 1980.
© Geoff Watson, The Northern Antiquarian