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Arbor Low - Derbyshire, England
Stone Circle and Henge
National Grid Reference: SK 160 636

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How To Get There

From Buxton take the A515 southeast towards Ashbourne. Pass the turning for Moneyash, take the next turning left a couple of miles further on at Parsley Hay. Arbor Low is signed from this point. Parking places are provided and the farmer charges 50p for adults and 25p for children to access the site. You do have to walk through his farm yard after all!

I think I first visited Arbor Low back in 1991 during a camping holiday with my friend Marc. We were only in Derbyshire for a few of days but spent one whole day touring local ancient sites. Arbor Low was something of a highlight of that tour. Arbor Low is often referred to as "The Stonehenge Of The North", but don't let that put you off! Here is a henge very similar to the Bull Ring, a few miles to the NW only here the stones survive even if they aren't standing upright. I have read speculation that the stones never were standing but this is not a view that I share. There is testimony from the 18th century that some of the stones were standing back then, however during excavation no stone holes were found. It seems likely that the stones were originally stood upright with insufficient support and that they either fell over of their own accord or were felled by later peoples who feared what they thought the stones represented.

Yes, another picture produced by sticking two photos together. This is the best I could manage to encompass the whole of the circle I'm afraid. The bank is around 80 metres in diameter and as one has to stand on the bank to get a shot of the stones below a very wide angle lens is called for!

The stones were not taken from the bedrock hewn out to create the ditch, the heavy weathering implies that they were exposed to the elements for a long time before they were set in a circle here. They were probably brought from another location and added to the existing henge as was the barrow built into the bank, to the right of this picture. The large stones at the centre of the circle are the remains of a cove which seems to have been open towards the largest stone in the circle. The stone at the centre front of the image above appears to be the only one not completely toppled!

Alastair McIvor is working on a 3D reconstruction of the circle with the stones in their original, vertical state.

Close up of stone at Arbor Low

Nearby Sites

Related Sites

Notes

Cove :-

A setting of three stones in a "U" shaped formation. Examples can be seen at Stanton Drew, Avebury and Arbor Low.