|Sunday 13 July 2003
The entrance to Stubob's disused 'Wragg's Quarry' and Raven Tor is at an (unsigned) gate, at 119 282684, as prescribed. So we parked and hopped over it. As we walked along the track it was soon clear that this was indeed a smallish disused quarry. Didn't see any 'private' signs….
The track is a bit of a dead end, and on the way back we discovered that at a point before the track bears right, there is a fairly gentle heather covered upward slope off to the left. At the top a wire fence is visible. Go up this slope and climb over the fence – it's not too difficult if you find a post with diagonal supports attached.
If you carry on to the end as we did, you'll either have to turn back or scramble up a very steep slope. That is, of course, what we did….
Whichever way you take, you still have to climb the fence and are on a fairly pathless bit of heather covered moorland. There are many pits, presumably from unmechanised quarrying, but all the ones we saw are easily visible.
Its worth taking care though and in any case the ground is very uneven underfoot and it would be easy to twist an ankle or strain a knee. Don't wear shorts (I did) unless you have longish boots on (I didn't) – the heather doesn't scratch too badly, but it does fill your boots and socks with uncomfortable and annoying seeds!
I reckon if I hadn't emptied them out when we got back to the car, I could've dug up what I laughingly call my lawns* and had a Derbyshire heather moorland-style garden. It'd be an improvement.
*More like a couple of rectangles of weeds, with a moderately bad infestation of grass.
It will get quite boggy or squishy pretty easily too I reckon – the moor, not my garden.
Once over the fence, stomp more or less north-west. You'll see lots of lumps and bumps with rocks on, particularly in front of you and to the left. None of those that we investigated were anything interesting and I could sense John's faith waning, so we stopped bothering and pressed on north-west towards Fallinge Edge.
We missed Raven Tor (single) Cairn, probably as a result.
For a while though, we were able to follow a satisfyingly crunchy dry track where I assume the heather had burnt, last year perhaps?. Sorry, I'm not really a country boy, though I'm enthusiastic and willing to learn!
Once we got 'close to the edge' (great album!) we followed along it to the right, north-eastish. Beautiful views. I absolutely love the juxtaposition of high wild moorland looking out on rolling, lush, cultivated land. And that's what this is like. I couldn't wait to find the triple cairn!
And about half an hour after climbing the fence (including investigation of a few 'red herrings') I spotted Raven Tor Triple Cairn! I just spread my arms wide to 'present' it to John and grinned my biggest grin for a long time. What a setting!!!!
A few seconds later. I realised I'd not put a new film in my camera and the spares were still in the car…. A certain amount of swearing and gnashing of teeth followed, but receded fairly quickly with the thrill of finding this place. The photos on this website show the cairns perfectly anyway!
'One of Derbyshire's best kept secrets' our man Stu calls it. And he ain't kidding! I've never seen anything like it. For a seasoned 'stone-spotter' this is something out of the ordinary. The photos on the Raven Tor Triple Cairn page speak for themselves much better than I can describe it.
The cairn nearest the 'edge' looks like it may have been added later, as its arc overlaps with the middle cairn, whereas the other 2 cairns more or less complete their arcs, though they seem to 'share' a section of kerb. Fascinating.
I would have said that the rectangular setting was closer than 30 ft away, but I could be wrong. I didn't pay much attention to be quite honest – the 'triple' cairn held my attention too strongly.
Left to my own devices I'd have doubted the origins of the rectangular cairn, but if greater authorities or excavation have proved it 'genuine' I can't argue. I can't provide any evidence, it just doesn't seem right or to make any sense to me. It just looks randomly plonked near the triple cairn. Ho hum.
Thrashed back across the moor (really hard work on the way back), discovered the gentler heather covered slope down to the quarry track, missed Raven Tor (single) Cairn. Again.
This post appears as part of the weblog entry Delerious in Derbyshire
Posted by Moth
17th July 2003ce
Edited 22nd July 2003ce