Arbor Low

Arbor Low

Infobox Megalith
Name = Arbor Low
Photo = Arbor low 274167 560a8cc3.jpg
Type = Henge monument
Country = England
County = Derbyshire
Nearest Town = Bakewellcite web | url= | title=The Megalithic Portal and Megalithic
Nearest Village = Middleton-by-Youlgreave
Grid_ref_UK =
Grid_ref_Ireland =
Coor = coord|53|10|08|N|01|45|42|W|type:landmark|display=inline,title
Condition = 3
Access = 5

Arbor Low is a Neolithic henge monument in the Peak District, Derbyshire, England.cite web | url= | title=Arbor Low Stone Circle and Gibb Hill Barrow | publisher=English Heritage | accessdate=2008-01-03] It on a plateau 375 m (1230 ft) above sea level, in an area of arid high moorland. The site is private property, accessible through the courtesy of the owner, and is managed by the Peak District National Park Authority.


Arbor Low consists of about 50 large limestone blocks, quarried from a local site, which form an egg-shaped circle, with monoliths at the entrances, and possibly a portal stone at the south entrance. There is also a large pit at the north entrance, which possibly contained a stone. Some of the stones are broken, and possibly connect together, such that there was between 41 and 43 stones originally. The stones range from being 1.6 to 2.1 m tall, with the monoliths being between 2.6 and 2.9 m.

In the centre lie seven smaller blocks, which form a cove.

One stone is partially upright; the rest are all lying down. That the stones are lying flat rather than standing has been explained through the actions of zealous Christians toppling them or simply that time and subsidence caused them to fall over. However, since no holes have been found in which the vertical stones would have stood, it is possible that they were never erected. Whether this was intentional or simply due to an incomplete project being abandoned, we may never know.Fact|date=January 2008

The stones are surrounded by an oval earthen bank, approximately 90 by 85 m at the outside edges and 2 m high, with a surrounding ditch being about 2 m deep and between 7 and 10 m wide. There are two causeway entrances breaching both the bank and ditch; the north-west one is 9m wide, and the south-south-east one is 6m wide. Within the bank lies an inner platform 52 by 40 m in size.

Human remains

Human skeletal remains have been discovered close to the central cove within the circle during excavations between 1901 and 1902.Fact|date=January 2008

Surrounding landscape

A large round cairn was built later in prehistory east of the henge using material taken from the earth bank.It was excavated in 1845 and found to contain a cremation burial and various grave goods which are now in Sheffield City Museum.Fact|date=January 2008

Arbor Low is part of a larger complex, and is linked to the Bronze Age barrow of Gib Hill 320m away by an earth ridge.Fact|date=January 2008

Construction and usage

The bank and ditch of the henge, as well as its two entrances, were likely established in the Late Neolithic period, with the stones added later, some time before 2000 BC. The site seems to have been in use until into the Bronze Age, which was when the outer bank was reconstructed so that the barrow could be erected. Both the earthworks and the stoneworks are likely predated by the nearby Gib Hill.


Further reading


See also

* The Bull Ring

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