|It's hard to think of the moors above Matlock as being part of the Eastern Moors. As today much of it has been improved, enclosed and afforested. Perhaps the only reminder is a part of Matlock Moor proper.
Tower, Blackbrook, Farley, Upper, Middle and Bottom Moors have all been interfered with to varying degrees.
As with the Eastern Moors to the north these southerly reaches too had Bronze Age monuments and settlement. Enclosure and the coming of the forest however consigned the monuments here to the history books; the Seven Brideron/Bretheren stone circle and the stone/cairn circle near Woodbrook Quarry both destroyed.
A couple of years ago I noticed that a stone was marked as having stood on Farley Moor on the first edition of the 1:2500 O.S map. As with other stones marked on old maps the stone could be anything of any age; marker stone, guide stone, boundary stone or even standing stone.
Working the position out on a modern map put the stones’ location in the middle of forestry. Thinking of the two destroyed circles I assumed the stone, whatever it was, to have long disappeared. How wrong I was.
Luckily, going by Google Earth a fair bit of the plantation had been cleared and the stone should stand just off the clearing in the trees.
And there it was around 6feet tall slender with a tapering top and well weathered. A post medieval marker stone didn’t seem to ring right; it seemed older for what that’s worth.
After researching the stone and area I could find nothing so in the end contacted the Peak Park Board.
In 2003 John Barnatt and Frank Robinson had visited the stone, very impressed, they surmised that with the stones position and weathering that it is quite possibly prehistoric; although excavation would only be able to say for definite.
If it is prehistoric the stone is the third largest standing stone on the Eastern Moors after the felled Old Woman’s Stone on Bamford Moor and the one on Gardom’s Edge.
Posted by stubob
10th October 2013ce
Edited 21st January 2014ce