Nine Ladies

OK. So there was a clue in the question. I know that now, and undoubtedly should of known that then. But, being as lazy as I am, I didn't do any research before visiting The Nine Ladies of Stanton MOOR. Burnsie with the Nine LadiesYes, you've guessed it, the Nine Ladies are in fact, in the middle of a dirty great moor in Derbyshire. As you can imagine, I was ill prepared for the mammoth expedition that confronted me when we left the car, some miles from the stones themselves. If I had of known, rest assured, I would have spent many months securing the necessary funding that such an undertaking so obviously required. If Hannibal had been confronted with such a journey he would have taken his elephants and formed the basis of a safari park.

Nevertheless, being the courageous type, I engaged the services of some porters and headed off, feeling as Dr Livingstone must have done before venturing into the African interior. It was a hot day and before long I began to hallucinate, badly. I could see families picnicking, young mothers with pushchairs and men out walking their dogs. Also dotted along the barely discernible track there were a number of small burial mounds sticking out above the heather.

Despite suffering immeasurable hardship, we did eventually reach the Nine Ladies and they were rather pretty. A fine Bronze Age stone circle of smallish stones, situated in a glen of Silver Birch that complements them well, making the area feel secluded and quite chilled. The Ladies also have an outlying friend: a slightly larger stone know as the King's Stone or Fiddler's Chair situated a small distance away. The only problem with this site is that you know what journey awaits you when it becomes time to leave. Serves me right for going ill prepared. That is to say, without survival rations and distress flares.

Unfortunately, the moor upon which the Nine Ladies have kept vigil for thousands of years has been threatened with renewed quarrying in recent times, jeopardising the tranquillity of this ancient site. However, not every body was best pleased with this idea and a large number of brave folk moved onto the site in order to protect it from the nasty quarry people. This, combined with a well fought campaign by the local community caused The Court of Appeal to rule in 2005 that the quarries should remain 'dormant'. Hoorah! So hopefully the Ladies can remain undisturbed for another four thousand years or so. But if you are going to visit this site, I recommend oxygen.