The Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor (11 miles/18 km)

A visit to Stanton Moor is a must for all lovers of mystery and magic, archaeology and history, or just for the peace and quiet and the spectacular scenery which characterises this special part of the Peak District. The Nine Ladies Stone Circle (on Stanton Moor) are nine free-standing stones which form a circle 10m in diameter and possibly date back as far as 3000 years and form the focal point for this scenic 11 mile walk. Naturally with such a mystical place there are many stories that have developed over the years – and one can not help but be filled with a sense of awe whilst wandering amongst these stones. Overall an easy walk in pleasant undulating scenery!

General Information

Start / Finish Location – Haddon Hall Pay & Display car park, Bakewell DE45 1LA

Distance: 11 miles / 18 km

Height gain: 1850 ft / 565 m

How tough? Anyone with reasonable fitness can manage this White Peak walk.

Recommended kit list for UK hill walking

Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor Walk

Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor Walk map

The Folklore of the Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor

The local folklore is that nine women were dancing on the Sabbath to a fiddler – the King Stone – and in turn they were turned to stone. And in fact there are ten stones: the 10th stone (the King Stone which is around 50m away to the south-west from the circle of stones) – is lying flat.

The reality is that no one can really be sure when this stone circle would have been erected or by whom or for what reason. Certainly pagan festivals still take place to this day and the site remains a site of spiritual importance to druids and pagans on the solstices.

The Nine Ladies on Stanton Moor

by Adam Moore

We know you’ve got a thing about us,
scuffing the earth at our feet,
giving us a voice. Like this.

We know about the groans we’ve heard,
the yelps in moonlight, rumours of progeny.
Bellies keep pressing us; we decline.

Thunder on the moor and your effeteness
assured, we think of us as crown
whetted on the storm, not bald queans.

We know about the influx of coach parties;
the way their crisp-packet ordinariness
ruffles you, the way they laugh as they count us.

Stars! We look up to them. Clear nights
remind us of their massive dignities;
we know what we have known, but forgotten.

One of us is missing. We know this.
Buffed by the flanks of cows, she swings
a gate. We hear her, complaining, often.

Adrift on moorland, we are tethered.
Far off on a skyline, we have caught you.
We dance what we know; you are frozen.

Cromlechs rise routinely from mists:
we are granite lumps. We know
how ugly we are, and once how lovely.