There is a very worn cup and ring carving on a large boulder between the Stride and Nine Stone Close.....there are several other possible cup marks on the upper surface of the rock. The rock has several plough markings on it suggesting it has been moved to its present position...and it lays next to the wall.
As you climb the stile to go to the stone circle......in front of you are 3 large trees.....one next to the stone circle...one next to the stile on the way to the Stride......in between these is another tree that stands on the north-south running drystone wall.....the carved rock is underneath this tree.
Harthill Moor is a great area, with a handful of sites all within a few minutes walk of each other.
From the Neolithic(?) Cratcliff hillfort, the ancient Portway track, Bronze Age stone circle and barrows, Iron Age rings and settlements through to the Medieval hermits cave and finally the farm that's there now.
Thousands of years worth of settlement all within view of Robin Hood's Stride.
Although only four stones remain, (it's more of a stone square!), this site is well worth a visit. The stones are all over 5 feet tall, and as ever have a great setting. Obviously focused on Robin Hoods Stride, the 360 view is still pretty cool, and if you have a look round the surrounding fields, you can find a couple of stones, which look suspiciously like part of the original circle. Well worth the walk up from Youlgreave, as part of a 14 mile hike which included the Nine Ladies, on foot is definitely the best way to view these circles. You get some idea of how the ancients would have approached these stones, and the wonder they inspire.
The site is also known as the Grey Ladies and on moonlit nights folklore says that ' the stones spin and dance.'
A Derbyshire Antiquarian writing in the 19th Century told of a farm labourer who while resting at the stones found an old clay pipe. He cleaned it out and began smoking his tobacco. 'A peculiar and delicious scent' came from his pipe, he then noticed by one of the stones that the ground had become transparent, and when he gazed into it he saw a beautiful world. More colourful than anything he had seen, with gaily dressed small people.
Fairies are mentioned in many of the local tales of the stones, from fairy dances to the playing of pipes.
"The Nine Stone Close stone circle with Robin Hood’s Stride in the background. It is probably not a coincidence that this small stone circle was situated near the impressive natural outcrop of Robin Hood’s Stryde, on Harthill Moor, itself probably regarded as a sacred place in prehistory. The crag forms an impressive backdrop to ceremonies that would have taken place at the ring. Arounf midsummer the moon is low in the sky and would have passed between the two natural pillars. The circle today has four tall stones but originally there were eight or nine, the missing ones removed in the last two hundred and fifty years." Peak District - John Barnatt and Ken Smith.