Nine Ladies Stone Circle
Nine Ladies Stone Circle – Stanton Moor
Situated on Stanton Moor, 5 miles north-west of Matlock is the Nine Ladies Stone Circle, protected and cared for by English Heritage. The stone circle, erected in the Bronze Age, is made up of nine upright gritstone stones less than a metre high and a separate additional flat stone, about forty metres away, known as the King Stone. The circle was a special area for our ancestors where rituals and ceremonies took place concerned with living and working, life and death.
The name of the monument derives from associations with folk tales, in which it is said, that nine women were dancing on the Sabbath to a fiddler – the King Stone, and were turned to stone. The graffiti carved on the King Stone, which includes the name ‘Bill Stumps’, is also mentioned in The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.Druids and Pagans come here to celebrate summer solstice. Most of the other popular stones around the moor are of natural origin and include the Cat Stone, Cork Stone and Andle or Aingle stone and they all have legends connected to them, with many linked with Druids. The eastern edge of the moor is now owned by the National Trust and includes a strange square grit stone tower known as Grey’s Tower, which was raised as a monument to commemorate the first Great Reform Act of 1832 evoked by Earl Grey. Many of the monuments. such as burial cairns and house sites over the years, have become hidden amongst the heather, bracken and bilberry. It’s a great sight for archaeologists The village of Birchover lies below the moor and is a great place for walking and exploring. In Birchover there are a number of features of geologic and historic interest. Behind the Druid Inn (a good place for refreshment) is Rowtor Rocks. It is a small gritstone tor containing caves, tunnels, flights of worn stone steps and several finely balanced rocking stones. It also has a wonderful view over the valley to Robin Hood’s Stride.