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

Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor

Stone Circle


September 2003 The first thing I noticed when approaching the Nine Ladies was the pristine state of the turf and the tell-tale traces of the plastic netting beneath that peeps through in a couple of places. The neatness and tidiness of the grass give the circle a bit of an artificial modern air but I can't really recall how the placed looked when I was last here a few years ago. Once the wild grasses and flowers have started seeding themselves in the new turf the place will look a lot more natural but it's already a huge improvement judging from some of the previous photographs of the site. One thing to note though is that you'll be lucky to get the place to yourself as it is popular with families, couples and walkers at weekends, but I'll bet it's a cracking place first thing in the morning or in winter. As for the stones themselves, there are of course 10 now, I think the one discovered in 1979 is the fallen slab to the east of the circle - there may originally have been more. The diameter of the circle is about 10 metres and there is a faint trace of an outer bank and what may have been a small cairn or earth mound near the centre and according to Jacquetta Hawkes there were entrances to the northeast and southwest. At least one of the stones (to the east) has some kind of (modern?) carving on it as does the King Stone which is now known not to have been an outlier but once formed part of a now destroyed cairn. For some reason I had remembered the King Stone as being larger than it is - it's only a tiny little thing.
When there are people around it's difficult to feel any kind of atmosphere at the circle and the traces of fires and bit's of rubbish around the place don't help, but when you get a couple of minutes of solitude then the place still has a little touch of magic about it. The small copse of trees block any views to the north and east, it could be that the eastern view towards the Derwent was obscured by a small rise in the land anyway and it's difficult to tell whether the Wye valley to the north could have been seen from the circle.
Chris Collyer Posted by Chris Collyer
9th October 2003ce

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