Sunday 27 November 2011

A Curious Day on Stanton Moor

After yesterday's long day on the Bleaklow moors, a gentler day was on the cards today!  Colin and Avril had invited us to join them for a spot of curiousity hunting as part of their quest to visit all of those listed in the "Curiousities of the Peak District" book.  So we met them and Rich, Caz & Ewan near the Druid Inn in Birchover soon after 11am, where it was dry but quite cold & windy.

We set off walking along the road at around 11:30am, heading east out of the village and gradually climbing up towards the moor.  After around a kilometre, we reached a stile onto the moorland, which we crossed and followed a good track mostly sheltered from the worst of the wind.  After another kilometre, we reached the gritstone outcrop of the Cat's Stone where we stopped for lunch, whilst Colin did a spot of bouldering in the sunshine.

Tower on Stanton Moor
After suitably satisfying our hunger it was time to find curiousity number one of the day: Stanton Moor's tower, whose doorway had been bricked up, presumably to prevent people from gaining access to the inside.  The next curiousity was somewhat more tricky to find, given that all we had to go on was a 35 year old black and white photo of some rock carvings with the tower in the background.  However after much studying of the photo trying to work out which direction it was taken in, and Colin rummaging around in various bits of undergrowth he eventually found the carvings.

Stanton Moor carvings
The carving in question was quite impressive, with an intricate crown, a large letter G and the date 1854 below it.  It was now time to move on to the third curiousity of the day: the Nine Ladies stone circle, which was significantly easier to find!

Nine Ladies stone circle on Stanton Moor
Stanton Moor
We wandered around the stone circle and visited the King Stone, before picking up a good track across the moorland to reach the fourth and final curiousity of the day: the Cork Stone.  This large boulder had steps cut into the rock, complete with iron bars for handholds, making it a bit of an artificial ascent; although still quite tricky due to the steep and slightly overhanging start!

Cork Stone on Stanton Moor
After Colin had climbed up the Cork Stone and I had been most of the way to the top, we detoured across the moorland to the NW to visit the trig point, complete with a face peering round the side!

Stanton Moor trig point
We returned to the Cork Stone and followed the path west to the road, before taking a quite detour to the Andle Stone, which again had iron hand-holds and steps cut into the gritstone.  After returning to the road, we followed it south for a few hundred metres, before branching right and descending through the woods on a footpath, which brought us out by the Millennium Stone in Birchover.

Birchover Millennium Stone
As it was only 2:30pm and the weather was still reasonable, we took a wander up to Rowtor Rocks, which lie behind the Druid Inn, where Colin showed us all the interesting features, including seats carved into the rocks, several caves and a staircase through the middle of the crag.  We had a bit of a tea break at the rocks before returning to the car by around 3:30pm and heading home after a good day's interesting walking.

Rowtor rocks

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