Before meeting the first group of trees to your left you will see Mag Low...one of those 'easy to reach with vibe' sites. The shafts of sunlight picked it out, bright green. On, till you cross the brook. I climbed a stock track that passed under an old hawthorn, then, cresting the rise, the 'whateveritis'. There looked to be three pretty evenly spaced degraded remains of small cists tucked into the inner face of the ring. The light wasn't right, so thought I'd wander before returning to photo. Uphill, through the open gate, the grass undulated and there looked to be traces of trackway and other earthwork. These, and the presence of sorrel, also an almost ubiquitous bellweather of settlements on the west coast of Scotland, made me feel 'as sure as' that those who built Green Low lived here. I climbed the rise behind, looking for more earthworks. Yup, but I reckon not t h a t old. A potter in the top of the wood prior to the intended extended pic session looking down on the site..I was looking the wrong way. The wind had got up, then, suddenly, snow. With surreal speed it fell and was blasted into the branches and grass. I couldn't see more than 100' for a time. Curtains crossed the valley, muffling the sound of trains climbing to Cowburn Tunnel below. It was bloody cold too. Back down to the site. Not a cist to be seen. Bother. The sun was back though. A few pix, decision made that this place was well worth a return, then back along the track. A happy woman with her even more happy offspring passed, heading to where I'd been. A fine, easy site to blood the young archaeo with. Good luck to 'em.
The plan was ephemeral at best, it was to watch the sunrise over Mam Tor from Lords seat barrow to the west. It would have worked too if it wasn't for those pesky clouds, so the plan changed slightly and Green low became my first site of the day.
Parking was had at the large lay by at the junction of the Pennine bridleway and the long road from Chapel en le Frith to Mam tor, it is a good road.
It took about fifteen minutes to get from car to stones, at a brisk walk to keep the cold biting wind to a minimum, after the first copse of trees on the left the earthwork became visible in front and to the right, but it isn't immediately definitely a cairn circle. But the bridleway takes us straight to it more or less just turn right off the path at a left turn, then up a bit.
Even when your stood right before it , it's still not obviously a ring cairn, as has been said, it is rather hengiform, and a whiff of sea breeze from Dorset isn't out of the question, robbed embanked stone circle is also a real possibility. Whatever it's status, it is there, it's easily spotted on Google earth, as is it's lesser sibling to the east and also another ring above the two and in between them.
It sits on an east facing hill slope, some stones can be seen poking through the grass on the ring, and on the inner ring. The inner ring isn't exactly ring shaped, it's not in the center of the outer ring. It is a strange one, "after four thousand years look so good you will not", Yoda would probably say, I cant disagree. All of the different variant forms of cairn, henge and stone circle could all look like each other or nothing like each other, pah , it's impossible to tell from just looking at it, Time Teeeeam. Then again no, just Stewart Ainsworth, John Gater, don't want no diggers here.
After wrapping my scarf round my face, god it's cold, there's still snow in places, I go for the now almost obligatory wander round the site from a distance, first I head west, half heartedly looking for the other lesser ring cairn , ive not much to go on I cant even remember where it is i'm supposed to be looking. From the fields edge the ring cairn is almost invisible, just a slight rise in the land, I head over into the trees north west of the site, peeking through the trees , although i'm now twenty feet higher than before its completely gone. More height is gained and the trees left behind, now I can see it, it's far away though, but a bit of camera zoom brings it close. Now back down hill over the all but dry stream Bolehill Clough??? and I begin to get east of the circle and it gets more prominent. Not knowing it at the time, I'm now passing by another ringy feature visible on Google earth but not on the ground, is it another ring cairn or part of an as yet undiscovered settlement. I can see an ever so slight rise in the land over to me left so I sidle over and, it turns out to be other ring cairn. It is much smaller than the other greater ring cairn, and much more ground level. It is lesser in every way than its near nieghbour.
I try mostly in vain to photograph the little ring, it's green on green and very much the shy one. I say a goodbye and go back towards the big ring, it's here on this low hill across the beck??? that one gets the best view of it, a really big stone has been dropped into the sea of grass and ripples ensue outwards.
The fog is now, not so thick, the clouds not so overwhelming so I decide it's time for a climb up to the Lords seat. I'm leaving now.
[visited jan 2011] As the current holder of the dubious title "closest site to my house", I've been eyeing this up for a while. Stupidly I failed (again) to read tma before hand and completely missed the other smaller circle nearby. This one though was plenty for the effort, the view alone meaning I'll be back here in the summer for a picnic.
Its a weird site and I can see why opinion had been divided over the years. Personally I'd say ring cairn, but it is reminiscent of the disc barrows in Dorset in that with not too much work it would be a small henge. Saying that the bank is very small in comparison to the larger disc barrows. Also what's with the bit in the middle?
Plus, its large for a ring cairn, so large in fact as stu says, it would be the best in the peaks. I can't recall any stone walls about, but in my mind there is a real possibility this was an embanked circle and the stones have been pinched.
Access is ok. I picked seemingly the easiest route starting from the chapel to castleton road where there is a large layby by the bridle path. Walk along the path for 15-20 mins or so then its a 30m scramble up the slope to the site.
Green Low has been about a bit....one time thought of as a stone circle...then robbed cairn..followed by ring cairn and marked on the map as a cairn circle...
The NMR seems to go with ring cairn...and if it is it's easily Derbyshire's best...a well defined grasscovered rubble ring approx 22x20m with a bank 50cm high...a smaller rubble ring is visible in the northern half of the cairn.
Located a few KM west of Mam Tor the ring cairn is unmissable as you walk along the path, starting at SK091 824....800m along.
250m east is a smaller cairn circle 6x8m in diameter and a bit tired looking.