Easily visible from the minor road that you would use for the Nine ladies stone circle on Stanton moor, and plenty of room for parking closeby too.
You cant go to a burial chamber without going in, and you cant go to Stonehenge without wanting to jump the velvet ropes to hug a stone, and you cant go to the Andle stone without climbing on top of it.
It is one of the best things in the world, sitting up here with my son Eric, it's a beautiful day, nice and warm.
The Red Arrows were at Chatsworth house on the way here, and for a small while we had the best seats in the house, but we obviously had got there a tad too late as they all shot off as we sat down, we both agreed they are totally awesome.
Eric went up first after a bit of a bunk, but he got to the top and bottled it, so I climbed up after him to help and guide him up which got him to the top if a 9yr old can do it anyone can, almost.
Usually graffiti would tick me off a bit, but right now, today I liked it. The "Michelle I love you, Feb 14 2002, really seemed to jump out at me not only because it took up the most room but, it must have taken all day, he must really have loved her, I wonder if she was there when he did it, did she ever see it, what did she think. Sometimes life isnt about natural beauty, incredible as it is, but about people living alongside other people, these ancient sites are after all not about nature but about us, the stone might always be there, but we wont.
Do not come here without going to Doll tor stone circle just a five minute walk away, it is a crime punishable by.... well what alse , stoning.
From here the path heads west to the minor road that takes quarry traffic along the edge of the Moor and more importantly gives access to the Andle Stone in the field opposite. This enormous natural outcrop is surrounded by a swathe of the same purple flowers (really must find out what they're called) and is a lovely summery spectacle, except that the clouds are closing in and the rain is just starting to fall. I don't climb the Stone as I picture myself getting up but then being stuck on the top! Instead I cross the field southwest to the little wood that contains one of my favourite sites of all – Doll Tor.
Somehow this stone seemed smaller than I remembered it from the last time I saw it about 4 years ago, I was thinking that the battered wall and the greenery encompassed the entire size of the boulder so I was somewhat disappointed when I realised it’s actual size. Being a shortarse and on my own I had doubts that I’d be able to climb it although I really wanted to check out the views of the surrounding countryside and the large cups on top but the decision was soon made for me anyway. Making sure everything was packed in my bag so as not to drop anything on the way up I realised I had left my GPS standing on the roof of my car acquiring a fix, needless to say I beat a hasty retreat to recover the offending article. Technology? –Pah!
Sunday 13 July 2003
Out of the car we turned our attention to the left of the road from Birchover towards Stanton in Peak. As we walked up to the second layby (on the left) we immediately spotted the Andle Stone in its dinky enclosure.
We were soon standing at the foot of this benign monster. The big papery version of TMA says it's 15 ft long, by 10 ft wide and 10ft high. Pah! Pah! and thrice Pah! with multiple exclamation marks!!!!!
The proportions sound about right, but absolutely NO WAY is it that small! You can call me Susan if it's not so. As Droood remarks in his fieldnotes, you need to stand on the pile of rocks to even reach the first handhold! And John's over 6 ft!
Julian must have had on some serious platforms that day!!!!
I reckon it's more like 17 or 18 ft high. Possibly more than 20 ft. It was more than high enough for me to give the climb a miss and for John to just climb up the side but not get on top!
It commands a beautiful view of the wide valley to the north-west. Blessed with such a clear and sunny day, we were spellbound.
Retracing our steps from Doll Tor stone circle later, John and I were both so invigorated that we took our courage (!) in both hands and climbed the Andle Stone after all. And WOW!!!! Is it worth it?!!!!!! Hell yeah!
Sod the cupmarks (sorry) and Victorian etc graffiti… FEEL that view and sense of importance!!!!! The extra elevation and adrenaline add so much…
BUT, a word of warning: unless you're pretty confident with heights, don't do it! Certainly not on your own! The turn back over the edge to climb down is very awkward, as it's very difficult to see over the edge and know what you are doing.
With us, John went first, and although he had to negotiate his own 'sticky' moment or 2, was able to help direct me from below. But it was extremely touch-and-go as far as this Moth freezing solid with fear is concerned!!!!!
Definitely plenty more than 10 ft. Blimey, even I could 'dangle & drop' or at a push maybe jump 10 ft.
The Andle Stone is a naturally occuring rock - truly massive and quite splendid! There was no mistaking it standing in the field before the land fell down sharply towards the dale bottom. Some footholds had been cut into it so that the brave and the foolhardy may climb to the top. Being fearful of heights and of falling (weird, that, coz I have fallen off horses a lot and it hurts!) I didn't climb it. Les did - rather bravely, I thought. She said there were some marks on the top, but my phobia was stronger than my curiosity.
When I saw this stone from the road I just had to smile, it's gorgeous!
It's a beautiful proto temple and fits right in with the other megalithic wonders of this part of the Peak.
A climb to the top is worthwhile, there are two oversized cups with channels. I think they're what those blokes on the antiques shows diplomatically describe as "being made in the style of"
Got fed up after Xmas and decided to take a trip out to clear the cobwebs.
The day I decided to go (Dec 28th) it had snowed the night before, the weather reports were doing the usual scaremongering about ability to travel, so to prove em' wrong I took the train. Great journey, no glitches, train to myself, got home safe. Got off the train in Matlock and hiked through the snow up to Stanton Moor. To say it was a perfect day would be an understatement. The sun shone beautifully through the trees, the snow lay undisturbed on the ground, and I saw more wildlife than at any time I've visited during the summer months. Best of all though...no one around. The Andle Stone stood with a cap of snow, looking not unlike an ice cream cone. anyway, I trekked across the field to the site, and rather foolishly decided to climb to the top as somebody had kindly left a pile of stones to reach the footholds. On reaching the top I quickly thought I'd mad a dumb mistake. The summit was covered in Ice and it was fairly treacherous trying to hold on. I spent five minutes clearing some of the snow to try and find the 'cup and ring' marks a friend told me of. Couldn't find em', only a lot of old (and not so old ) graffiti. The view was spectacular. Looking towards Birchover, the snow marks, and low winter sun revealed what looked to be the remains of a prehistoric field system , (though I'm no expert) overlooking the village of Birchover, and a multitude of ridge and furrow type features underlying the current field layout. The place was pure tranquillity (as the road from Stanton to Birchover had been closed). The day was perfect, though when it came to climbing down, I nearly broke my neck as I couldn't see where to place my feet, and my hands were like ice from clearing snow. Once on the ground I took a path down towards a wooded copse where Doll Tor stood silent and alone. No one had come down here, and I had the place all to my lonesome.
The little circle was pure heaven. The snow muted all sound, and the dusting around the stones and nearby trees was pure picture postcard stuff.
A robin perched on a recumbent looking stone taking scraps of bread, and I couldn't believe the sheer other worldly ness of the place. I came away understanding how these places were believed to be haunted by fairy folk, as the whole place had a 'magical' feel about it. Simply put, the place is fantastic.
Came up the road wondering if we'd find it, but it's unmistakeable. The day & landscape were beautiful & the Andle Stone sitting happily in it all. DishBench climbed it & reported the view from the top "not much different" from below - but confessed later he only said that so the rest of us wouldn't feel left out. Apparently it's amazing. The metal handholds look Victorian however, and the fact that the first one seems to have rusted through & snapped right off did not inspire confidence...
The opposite side of the stone (opposite to the hand/footholds) has chiseled into it a dedication to Wellington? & other big military hero I think (I didn't write it down). Why? Does anybody know?
I don't know if this has any bearing on your dilemma, Moth:
Accompanied... by one of the hospitable family of the Thornhills, I gladly availed myself of the opportunity of traversing Stanton Moor. From the front of the house [Stanton House], an insulated stone of immense magnitude is seen in the line of the horizon, where it is a prominent object from every point of view around it, and may be regarded as an excellent land-mark for all who wish to visit this interesting district... We soon attained the eminence distinguished by the huge stone that attracted my attention. In the neighbourhood it is known by the name of Andle Stone, though Major Rooke has given this appellation to one of far inferior dimensions, which stands on that same plane, about half a mile nearer the brow of the hill that overlooks Darley Dale. Andle Stone is a large block of unhewn sandstone grit, which appears to be inserted, but not deeply, in the earth: its surface is but little marked with fissures or indentations; the square of its sides is from seven to eight yards, and its extreme height about eighteen feet. Several other insulated stones of a similar description occupy the same high range of ground: how they were originally placed there, and for what purposes they were designed, can only be conjectured.
Peak Scenery, or The Derbyshire Tourist. E Rhodes (1824).