Perched high on a remote hill in the Peak District, Arbor Low, sometimes labelled the “Stonehenge of the North” is not as well known as some of the British stone circles, but it is no less impressive. Accessed via a farmyard, this prehistoric monument includes a number of Late Neolithic and Bronze Age features.
The main site consists of a bank and internal ditch which contains a set of more than 50 fallen stones. The rim of the structure has a diameter of 258 by 246 feet. There are two gaps in the bank – one at the northwest end and the other at the southeast. Another earthwork, known as Gib Hill, can be found 1000 feet from the site. It is thought that this contains the oldest element on the complex, a long barrow potentially dating back to 6000 BC.
Although the function of the henge is unknown, it is likely that the area would have been a focal point for bronze age people and there are various theories about why the stones lie flat. Some suggest they may have been toppled by Christians wishing to de-sanctify the pagan nature of the site. Others have posited that the stones may never have been upright in the first place as there are no holes within the quarry. In many way the perpetuated mystery of the location continues to draw visitors to Derbyshire to inspect the strange site.
Know Before You Go
1⁄2 mile W of A515, 2 miles S of Monyash. Parking available on the lane at the base of the farm track. Follow the signs through the farmyard. Please drop the suggested donation in the box in the parking area. The farmer is friendly and you may be greeted by a resident farm cat.