All around the top edge of Kinder Scout there are fascinating gritstone rock formations.
On our walk today along the northern edge of the mountain, we passed these. They are known as ‘The Boxing Gloves’. If you use your imagination a little, you can see a face with gloved, raised hands up in front of it.
Whether you think they look like a man with boxing gloves on or not, it’s a really beautiful place!
Yesterday, on our semi-wild camping expedition in the White Peak area of the Peak District we walked up to the trig point at the top of Harborough Rocks. It’s only a short distance off the High Peak Trail near to Brassington. A fascinating feature is this limestone rock chair.
Although many of the rocks in this area have eroded naturally into unusual shapes, it’s likely that this particular feature has at some point in history been carved by man. No-one seems to know when, but graffiti on the back of the chair dates as far back as 1757.
The chair is actually quite comfortable and certainly offers excellent views across the Derbyshire countryside.
To find out more about our guided walks and occasional camping expeditions, please see www.peakwalking.com
Everyone has heard of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London and many people also know of The Nelson Monument on Calton Hill, Edinburgh. But did you know that in the Peak District we have our own Nelson’s Monument? Not only that, nearby we also have the three historical British fighting ships of Victory, Defiance and Royal Soverin!
Take a walk onto Birchen Edge, one of the gritstone edges that the Dark Peak area is famous for. The views are stunning and you can also up there find Nelson’s Monument and The Three Ships. The monument was erected by a local business man called John Brightman in 1810 in honour of Admiral Lord Nelson following his victory and his death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. This was some thirty years before the London Nelson’s Column was constructed. The ‘ships’ are three large gritstone boulders which have had the words Victory, Defiance and Royal Soverin engraved on them like the names on the prow of the ships.
The area between Gardoms Edge and Birchen Edge in the Peak District was once the site of a small Bronze age settlement and was farmed by the people who lived there. If you take a wander around the area, you can find several interesting Bronze Age and Neolithic features hidden among the trees, bracken, heather and grassy areas. One of the most interesting is this slab of gritstone featuring a ‘ring and cup’ carving. It is believed to be a Bronze age form of art. It would be fabulous to be able to look back in time to see the people who made this carving and maybe to understand a little of its significance.
Having found the rock and marveled at it, you should then bend down and tap or knock on it. You will soon realise that it is not quite what it seems! It sounds hollow inside. That is because in 1996 the original rock was buried in a secret location nearby to protect it from erosion and other damage and it was replaced by this polyester resin and fiberglass replica. Just to look at it you would never know.
Over the last few years several customers have booked a personal walking guide with us in the Peak District with the request that they wanted to be taken to Keira Knightley’s Rock so that they can have their photograph taken standing on it. What they are referring to of course is a particular rock on Stanage Edge on the eastern side of the Dark Peak where actress Keira Knightley stood in an iconic shot in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice when she took the leading role playing Elizabeth Bennett.
This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago one one of our guided walks with a family who were keen to see the famous rock.
Yesterday our half day guided walk passed along Burbage Edge – one of the high gritstone edges that the Dark Peak area is famous for. The views are stunning and it is a great walk, but years ago it was once the site of several small quarries producing millstones and occasionally other stone objects such as drinking troughs.
This magnificent trough can be found on the path that leads down from Burbage Edge towards the A6187. Due to its size I can quite easily imagine that it might have been destined to be a horse drinking trough at a coaching inn, or maybe in a town centre. It is quite easy to see why it was abandoned before the stone masons had finished it, as there is a massive crack right across it.
It is interesting as being unfinished, you can see the process that was used to produce these stone troughs. The stone was first crafted into a huge rectangle, then a channel was chiseled out inside leaving a stone ‘island’ than would eventually be hacked out leaving the perfect trough.
Our Four Gritstone Edges guided walk yesterday took us past The Eagle Stone which is set back on the moorland just a short distance from Baslow Edge. It is a huge tower of Gritstone with an interesting local custom attached to it.
The age old custom is that before they are allowed to marry, the young men of Baslow have to prove their manliness and fitness for marriage by climbing onto the top of this huge stone. There is no easy way up because some of the higher parts of the stone overhang the lower parts. The village has always had its fair share of weddings though, so plenty must have managed it.
A couple of years ago on one of our guided walks we did see a group of young men laughing and joking around the stone, one wearing a brides veil around his waist. His mates told us he couldn’t get married on Saturday until he had climbed the stone. They cheated though and helped him up!
Our next guided walk along these gritstone edges that will pass The Eagle Stone is our ‘Four Gritstone Edges Walk’ on 9 May that forms part of the Peak District Walking Festival, and then the next one after that is on 18 August.