This is a very fine stone in my opinion, and also one I cannot help feeling is very underappreciated in view of the lack of any evidence of other visitors since it was rediscovered and its existence put online in 2013. I also cannot but help feel slightly apprehensive about its future in view of the fate of two other stones in the vicinity and the heavy timber extraction machinery clearly in use at this location. I became aware of it through the most illuminating Pecsaetan website of TMA's Harestonesdown/Geoff and the late Stubob, and I recommend at a minimum reading their homepage for the sage words, including about safety, concerning fieldwalking therein. Several months after the stone went on my 'must see' list - as it should be on others - the opportunity arose after a day in the liquid sunshine on Stanton Moor with Geoff, TMA's Juamei and pals who were company more than equal to the elements. Spirits bolstered and realising that it was difficult for clothing to get much wetter, so what the hell, off to try and find this beleaguered monolith without any aid other than the grid reference on TMA provided by Stubob. Sparing the details of circuituous forest wanderings apart from to say it was dusk when I found it and was on the point of giving up had I not spotted a thin vertical line of greeny grey lichen in the forest gloom, here are directions hopefully sufficient for non GPS enabled others to follow....park opposite the lane leading to Tax Farm with its Caravan Club signs. Walk uphill along the road and on the right hand side after approximately 170 paces you will see a clearly defined little path leading initially at right angles from the road then bearing right by the stone wall which is then crossed through a gap and then you're in the forestry. Ahead another path is quickly met. Turn left and soon you will see on your right a long, neglected and boggy forest ride between plantations. Squelch along this, negotiating the heavy machinery rutting. A large replanted clearing will come into view on your right. On the left as you make your final approach to that you will see a path joining at right angles. Pause, then continue walking onward counting each step. At around number thirty seven and to your right by the side of the path you will see a fallen stone Turn 180. Ahead you will hopefully see the stone in the gloom - possibly clearer in late afternoon sunshine. Walk eleven pacesish in from the treeline on the left hand side of the path. Touch, pat or, as I did, an extreme behavioural rarity, put your arm round your goal and hug it. Pause again and think of and thank its finder Stubob and all the others now gone who have made this website what it is. The third tallest stone on the Eastern Moors, over six feet, deserves all the attention that you will give.
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.
A standing stone was identified in woodland on Farley Moor, at c. SK 29966302. It was reported as standing over 6ft tall. The stump of another was said to be a little distance away; no grid reference was provided for this second stone.
The 1st edition 25" Ordnance Survey map of c. 1880 marks 'Stone' at this site, which at that time was open moorland. Nothing is shown on the 2nd edition.
Along with the Peak Park Board I also contacted the Forestry Commission, who are the landowners, about the stone, to see if they had any thoughts or info on the stone.
In the end I ended up telling them what I had found out. But they did tell me that there are plans to carry on clearing the area around the stone of trees.