Arbor Low

Arbor Low in the Peak District is one of the most important sites in northern England. There is a Roman road nearby, even though we are close to 1200ft above sea level. Surrounded by moorland it gives extensive views. When approached up through a farmyard it looks most unpromising as all the stones are lying down; at first it looks like a very damaged site compared to the grandeur of somewhere like Avebury. There is a large bank and internal ditch and two clear entrances to the circle. Some stones have obviously been removed and one can be seen on the path near to the farm.

In the 17th and 18th centuries stones were broken up and taken away. Those remaining are badly worn by the weather and irregular. At the centre of the circle is a cove of seven stones probably built for sacred rites. Nearby the large mound of Gib Hill has some parallels with Silbury Hill. Arbor Low is arranged so that the geometry and entrances are aligned with the sun and moon at the solstices. It is worth exploring the Peak District landscape and its orientation and importance at the centre of Britain. (see ‘Stone Circles of the Peak District – a Search for Natural Harmony’ by John Barratt (Turnstone 1978). This is a very moving windswept place, still alive as a gateway to ‘other worlds.’

Location: 3/4 mile east of A515 via unclassified road called The Rake, then after 200 metres right onto unclassified road called Long Rake, and then track to site is via Upper Oldhams Farm entrance on right after 1/2 mile; 2 miles south of Monyash.

Coordinates: 53° 10′ 8″ N1° 45′ 42″ W

Photo credit: Michael Allen, Wiki Images, Creative Commons Licence