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Arbor Low Stone Circle

OS Grid ref:- SK 1603 6355

Arbor LowArbor Low, sometimes referred to as ‘The Stonehenge of the North' is a prehistoric site of unique archaeological and cultural interest. The monument is atmospherically set amid high moorland near the town of Bakewell in the Peak District National Park.

Arbor Low consists of around 50 large white limestone blocks forming an oval surrounding a central stone ‘cove’ – a feature found only in major sacred sites. All but one of the stones are now recumbent with only one, to the west-south-west, still standing partially upright.

There are monoliths at the entrances, and possibly a portal stone at the south entrance. A large pit stands at the north entrance, which possibly contained a stone. An earthen bank surrounds the stones with an interior ditch. There are two causeway entrances which cross the bank and ditch.

During excavations which were carried out between 1901 and 1902 human remains were unearthed near to the central cove in the circle. A large round cairn was constructed to the east of the henge at a later date. It was excavated by Thomas Bateman in 1845 and found to contain a cremation burial and various grave goods. The monument is now in the care of English Heritage.

The well preserved henge was constructed about 2500 BC. The surrounding landscape is littered with barrows dating from the Late Bronze Age. The largest barrow known as Gin Low, is just a short walk away towards the south. Excavations at Gin Low in 1848 uncovered a cist of early Bronze Age date, containing a cremation and food vessel. Gib Hill Barrow lies some some 300 metres to the north east of Arbor Low.

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