The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Mam Tor

Sacred Hill


Wow, seriously impressive. As you approach from the west it's hard to judge the scale of the hill until you start to pass by on the south side of it. If you then take the turn north and follow the old road as far as it goes you get a whole other perspective on Mam Tor as you stand facing the crumbling eastern face with its alternate bands of sandstone and shale and distant birds of prey hovering over the summit. Turning round 180 degrees gives and entirely different view down the Hope Valley, on the right hand side lies Castleton and the intrusive tower of the cement works beyond but to the left is an interesting line of hills, one of which, Win Hill stands like a tiny pyramid on the horizon 4 miles away. Coming from Lincolnshire I'm not used to landscapes like these and I wonder if early settlers had the same reaction when travelling west up the valley, Mam Tor stands like a giant full stop that marks the end of the journey. Stood at the foot of it looking east I was strangely reminded of standing at the west end of the Stonehenge Cursus near to the destroyed long barrow looking in the same direction down the faint parallel banks into the distance - this place is like the Cursus landscape written large in nature.
I've never been that convinced by Sacred Hill theories in the past but this one certainly does it for me, I didn't have time to attempt the climb up to the top or see the hillfort or barrows but definitely a place to revisit soon.

A couple of weeks later I went back and climbed Mam Tor - well worth it but a bit exhausting - the views are spectactular.
Chris Collyer Posted by Chris Collyer
23rd September 2003ce
Edited 1st November 2003ce

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