Nine Ladies Stone Circle

Nine Ladies Stone Circle 1
Nine Ladies Stone Circle

The stone circle known as the ‘Nine Ladies’ stands in a clearing on Stanton Moor in the Derbyshire Peak District, surrounded by young ash, silver birch and beech trees.

The circle is approximately 11m in diameter and consists of nine upright stones, all under a metre in height and composed of local millstone grit, a type of sandstone. A tenth stone, known as the ‘King Stone’, lies approximately 40m to the west of the main circle. 

Nine Ladies Stone Circle 2

According to popular legend, the stones are believed to represent nine ladies who were turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath. The King Stone represents the fiddler who provided the music for their revelry. 

Dating back to the Bronze Age, around 4,000 years ago, the circle was most probably constructed by the people who lived on and farmed in this area at the time, as a site where they could celebrate and commemorate the most important moments of life and death in their community.

The vast open moorland of Stanton Moor is so significant in terms of its ancient archeology that the entire moor is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The area was a valuable resource for farming, wood and stone for our ancient ancestors.

There are more than seventy burial barrows on the moor and four stone circles, of which the Nine Ladies Stone Circle is one.

Slightly smaller than the Nine Ladies Stone Circle, with only six standing stones, is Doll Tor, also dating from the Bronze Age. 

As well as the more ancient markers of past civilisation here, there is also still evidence of 17th and 18th Century packhorse routes, hollowed-out tracks in the heather made by the hooves of horses transporting goods from Cheshire and Sheffield.       

Nine Ladies Stone Circle is owned and maintained by English Heritage.  

Nine Ladies Stone Circle 3