The Eagle Stone and an interesting local custom

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 … Continue reading The Eagle Stone and an interesting local custom

Devil’s Matchsticks

Quite a common site on the high moorlands of the Dark Peak, but maybe not everyone knows what they are? These are commonly known Devil’s Matchsticks. Like all lichens, the Devil’s matchstick is actually two organisms working together: a fungus and an algae in a symbiotic relationship. The red tips are the fruiting bodies of the fungal component of the lichen. Have a look for them next time you are walking across the Peak District’s peat covered moorlands. Continue reading Devil’s Matchsticks

The Great Ridge at Night

I had been really looking forward to Friday 22nd February when I was guiding our first ever ‘Great Ridge at Night’ walk from Castleton. For Martin, Charlotte, Sherry and Elizabeth who had booked, it was their first experience of hillwalking in the dark. We were fortunate to have good weather conditions. Although it was very cold (around -5 degrees) it wasn’t too windy and the snow that had covered the hill only days before had almost gone. We all wrapped up in lots of layers of warm clothing and set off up the hillside passing the buildings of Treak Cliff … Continue reading The Great Ridge at Night

Bullet holes in the rocks below Burbage Edge

During the 2nd World War the Burbage Basin, below Burbage Edge was used as a military training area and there is still plenty of evidence of that today.  You don’t have to look very hard to find huge boulders covered in bullet holes and marks from mortar shells.  Usually the holes in the rocks are just one one side as they were used as targets whilst practicing attacking uphill positions. This gritstone boulder is just off the main ‘Sheffield Country Way’ path through the valley, but there are lots more spread over a wide area.       Continue reading Bullet holes in the rocks below Burbage Edge

The Hanging Stone

Yesterday I went for a walk with a friend and was fascinated by The Hanging Stone – a gritstone rock outcrop on Back Forest Ridge on the western side of the Peak District, just to the north of The Roaches.  It overlooks Swythamley Hall, which was the home of the Brocklehurst family who owned the Roaches Estate until the death of the last in line in 1978. As far as I am aware, there haven’t been any hangings that took place there, so the rock probably took its name from the fact that the upper layers of rock overhang slightly, … Continue reading The Hanging Stone

Salt Cellar Boulder

The magnificent Salt Cellar Boulder stands on Derwent Edge, high above Ladybower Reservoir.  It is one of the many points of interest on our ‘Derwent Edge and Hills around Ladybower‘ guided walk. It is gritstone and part of the long ridge of stone known by geologists as The Chatsworth Grit that runs down the east side of the Peak District.  Stanage Edge, Millstone Edge, and Curbar Edge are all the same type of stone. The stone was formed around 320 million years ago when the area was in a huge river delta.  The grit was washed down the river from mountains further north and deposited in a … Continue reading Salt Cellar Boulder

Ling Heather on the Moors

Now is a great time to see the ling heather on the moors in all its glory.  Whole moorlands in the Peak District appear to be carpeted in purple!  The heather has been late flowering this year, probably due to the cooler than usual and wet weather that we have experienced over the summer.  The displays of flowering heather that we have seen over the weekend on our half day guided walks and Derwent Edge Walk, have however been well worth waiting for. Continue reading Ling Heather on the Moors