Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric standing stone 1,030m south west of triangulation point on High Neb

A Scheduled Monument in Bamford, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3587 / 53°21'31"N

Longitude: -1.6707 / 1°40'14"W

OS Eastings: 422012.013749

OS Northings: 384694.214476

OS Grid: SK220846

Mapcode National: GBR JYSL.2Q

Mapcode Global: WHCCG.9VN1

Entry Name: Prehistoric standing stone 1,030m south west of triangulation point on High Neb

Scheduled Date: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018095

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31224

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Bamford

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Hathersage St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes a large prehistoric standing stone known as 'The Old
Woman Stone' part of which is now recumbent and lying adjacent to its base.
Until the 20th century the stone stood upright. It is likely to have been
associated with one or more of the ceremonial monuments in the surrounding
moorlands, dated to the Bronze Age.
The monument comprises a large natural boulder of local gritstone which had
been raised on end and made earthfast to form a focal point in the surrounding
landscape. It stands in an area of the Bamford moors rich in evidence for
Bronze Age settlement and ceremonial activity. The stone, together with the
stump of its base, is approximately 2.4m long and sub-rectangular in section.
It is about 1.2m wide and 0.5m deep with about 0.25m of its original base left
above ground. There are deeply weathered grooves, especially on both wide
faces, indicating that the stone had stood in its upright position for some
considerable time.
During the earlier part of the 20th century, the stone was deliberately felled
to prevent ramblers using the monument as a route-marker in an attempt to
discourage access to private moorlands. Conflict over public access to private
moorlands such as evidenced by this event led to the `Mass Trespass' of the
1930s. Since this event the stone has lain adjacent to the stump of its base,
a few centimetres away.
The monument stands approximately 190m to the NNW of a small stone circle
which is located close to evidence for Bronze Age settlement and agriculture
in the form of cairnfields to the south and west. The position of the standing
stone indicates that it was deliberately placed to provide a ceremonial
function for ritual activities associated with the circle and/or with one or
more of the Bronze Age funerary monuments nearby. Standing stones such as this
example are also known to be associated with stone circles elsewhere, although
their survival is relatively rare.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates
ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few
excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs,
ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often
conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can
be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round
barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included
stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth
containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds.
Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones,
which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and
ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways,
territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show
they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual
monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and
domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing
stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant
examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in
Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds.
Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high
longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late
Neolithic and Bronze Age. Consequently all undisturbed standing stones and
those which represent the main range of types and locations would normally be
considered to be of national importance.

The prehistoric standing stone 1,030m south west of the triangulation point on
High Neb is particularly important through its association with a landscape
rich in Bronze Age activity and notably with a stone circle located
approximately 190m to the SSW. It also provides a social document for the
early 20th century through its association with attempts to improve public
access to moorlands.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, 'Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1' in The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District, (1990), 47
Barnatt, J W, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Bronze Age Remains on the East Moors of the Peak District, , Vol. 106, (1986), 21-29

Source: Historic England

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