Standing Stone: OS Grid Reference – SK 2253 6256
Taking the roughly north-south road betwixt the village of Elton and the town of Youlgrave, rising up to see the great rock outcrop of Robin Hood’s Stride, park-up by the roadside and walk down the path across the fields to the Nine Stone Close stone circle. Once at the circle, look at the wall immediately south of here (looking towards the great Robin Hood’s Stride rock towers) about 100 yards away and you’ll see a large, nicely-worn ‘standing stone’ in the walling, with another a few yards to its side.
Archaeology & History
It seems like there’s been quite a lot written of this particular stone — much of it deeming, or speculating, that it once had summat to do with the stone circle of Nine Stones Close (which you can see in the background on one of the photos). The local archaeologist and writer, J. Percy Heathcote (1947) told us that around 1819, a Mr Glover said that this stone and a companion stood next to each other, but Mr Heathcote thought that,
“Judging from its size alone, only one of these is large enough to be compared to the stones in the circle.”
“Dr Phillips apparently assumes this stone to be connected with the circle in the same way as the similarly placed King Stone was connected with the Nine Ladies (Stanton Moor). However, it seems more reasonable to suppose that the stone was brought by a farmer into the wall and not that he built the wall up to the standing stone.”
In more modern times however, John Barnatt (1978) thought that this stone was originally in the circle, but “has been moved across the field to the south to act as a gatepost.”
It’d be hugely improbable that it didn’t have summat to do with the stone circle, but exactly what, we can only speculate.
- Barnatt, John, Stone Circles of the Peak, Turnstone: London 1978.
- Heathcote, J. Percy, Birchover – Its Prehistoric and Druidical Remains, Wilfrid Edwards: Chesterfield 1947.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian