Bronze Age Stone Circle
East of Ashopton, Derbyshire OS Map Ref SK21528685
OS Maps - Landranger 110 (Sheffield & Huddersfield), Explorer OL1 (The Peak District - Dark Peak Area)
Looking northeast across Hordron Edge Circle with Stanage Edge to the right.
View southwest from the 'Fairy Stone' with Win Hill to the left and Lose Hill to the right.
circle stands close to Hordron Edge on a shelf of land known as Moscar
Moor with the imposing mass of Stanage Edge to the east, the carved
rock of Ladybower Tor to the west and
the the stone circle and cairns
of Bamford Moor a mile to the south.
Although it is also known as the 'Seven Stones of Hordron' there are in
fact 11 stones here plus another three that were discovered below the
peat during investigations in 1992 - gaps between the stones would suggest
that there were originally several more. Unlike many Derbyshire circles
the stones are not set into a bank but instead form a freestanding ring
of between 15-16 metres with heights ranging from about half a metre to
the largest one metre tall stone to the southwest. This stone (known as
the Fairy Stone) could provide an intriguing insight into the Bronze
Age builders world view. The top of the stone bears a curious similarity
in shape and angle to two distant hills also to the southwest - Win Hill
two miles away and Lose Hill, four miles away. This apparent mirroring
of distant landscape features by a prominent circle stone is also seen
at Wet Withens a few miles
to the south where the hill mirrored is Higger Tor (over which the midsummer
sun is seen to rise). Was this an attempt by the builders to 'draw' the
power of a sacred hill into the circle? Author John Barnatt who has studied
the sites of the Peak District in great detail notes that at certain times
of the year the setting sun can be seen to 'roll' down the slopes of Win
Hill, these times being close to the pagan festivals of Samhain and Imbolc
and the traditional start of winter and spring respectively. Was the circle
purposely sited here to indicate the beginning of the agricultural year?
Whether these alignments were deliberate or just coincidental there is no dispute that there are some impressive views from Hordron Edge to the southwest across the flooded valleys of the Rivers Derwent and Ashop which now form Ladybower reservoir.
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