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

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The Andle Stone (Natural Rock Feature) — Fieldnotes

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 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.
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