Our island nations pre-Christian history and traditions are very important to me as I feel they reflect our identity and the true nature of our people and land. These ancient oral traditions are largely lost to us now, but glimpses still remain here and there, in tales, songs and most importantly the landscape.
One huge impact still seen in the British landscape today is henges and barrows.
Throughout 2019 I’ve been trying to make a strange heathen pilgrimage to as many of these sites as I can, starting of course with my local county Derbyshire.
Having already visitors Doll Tor, Arbour Lowe and the Nine Ladies, the next on my list was Nine Stones Close, near to Robin Hoods Stride.
These adventures are always a bit of a magical mystery tour, as Neolithic sites such as this are not generally depicted on my hiking app, so it’s always a bit of a voyage of discovery, which is refreshing as you usually stumble on all sorts of other interesting things on the way.
Unfortunately only 4 of the nine stones which make up the circle remain erect, and yet the stone circle still has a powerful presence within the landscape. It’s easy to imagine just how impacting it would have been with all 9 stones standing, proud on the brow of the hill, with Robin Hoods Stride in the distance and the landscape rolling all around.
I always find it an amazing experience to walk around these places in the footsteps of our ancestors, to touch the stones they touched and wonder what they felt, what it meant to them. Also looking out to gaze upon their world and what they would have seen from this obviously important spot, usually it’s a breathtaking landscape and endless moorland. While today the landscape is somewhat changed, with farming having a large impact on what we see now, it’s easy to imagine what our ancestors might have seen looking out into the wider world.