Nine Ladies…… on The Moor

Stanton Moor, Derbyshire

20th August and we woke to sunshine and blue skies….. what a change from the past weeks or so.  Days of low damp mist at best or heavy rain and thunder at worst.  August is approaching its end, so if we wanted to enjoy the late summer Heather on the moor, we had best take advantage of the day on offer. 

Many of you will recall that Stanton Moor is a favourite location, not too far away, yet providing the wide open moorland  vistas and feeling of remoteness we enjoy.

Mid to late August is Heather time on the moors.  5 weeks ago when last here it was just the bracken giving the colour, whilst the heather was still brown, looking less like flowering than a dead twig. But what a difference.

Head up through the Oak woods that surround the Moor, climb a sandy path and wow the purple Heather is a joy to see…

Hiding (well sort of)  in the middle of the Moor is the Nine Ladies Stone Circle.  Surrounded by a plantation of Silver Birch it is a magical place. As always we just had to pay our respects. Luckily we had the Circle to ourselves, so time to stand  and allow ones mind to refresh…. it always works like magic….



So after a respectful pause, it was off , back through the Birch Woods, now rustling in a breeze that was starting to stretch its muscles,  may be another change in the weather was on the way.


On the slopes that surround the Moor, the weather has obviously had an drastic effect for the local farmer.  Rains have stopped his ability to bail up the field, that he had started to harvest.  The adjoining field was flattened by yesterdays torrential rains…will it recover enough to harvest, I guess it depends of the next few days and the hope of some calmer weather…


The Tale of The Cork Stone….


No, Jean is certainly not going to climb the Cork Stone.  Many folk have and many more will no doubt do so again.  The local folk legend is that Lads from the villages of Birchover and Stanton would climb to the top, declare their undying love for a local lassie they were wooing, then jump from the top.  If they landed safely it was a sign that the lad was worth keeping.  If he broke a leg, arm or worse, then the lassie could walk away and leave him to his fate. 

Nowadays, not many who climb the stone actually jump…obviously none believers or just cautious!

A great August morning,  If we don’t get back in the next couple of weeks, at least we have seen the Heather for this season.  Mind you autumn will be here and that changes the Moors appearance once again..

But for today…some more memories courtesy of the Nine Ladies



Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

21st August

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Silent Signal…….


Broadway Tower, Worcestershire

Is this just a ‘Folly’ or was it constructed to fulfil a vital role as a ‘Signal Tower’ or Beacon.  The Tower was built long before the invention of instant signalling devises.  So I like to think it was  built of practical reasons…but also like the fun idea of having such a dominant building erected…. just because I could!.  You can make up your own minds…. here is the back story of  the most likely of theories and its History…

It was built on the whim of Lady Coventry who persuaded her husband the 6th Earl of Coventry to pay for the design and construction…  Her home was some 20 miles away from this hill on which the tower was to be built. The hill itself had been a “Beacon Point” for signal fires for several centuries.  Lady Coventry was not sure that she would have been able to see such a beacon signal, so two famous names in Landscaping and Architecture were commissioned to construct a Tower.

Capability Brown and James Wyatt collaborated to build Broadway Tower, it was completed in 1798….. and yes, Lady Coventry could gaze upon it from her distant home. . No real surprise as the hill stands at some 1024ft and the tower itself a height of 65ft.

Over the intervening years Broadway Tower has provided a useful function apart from being purely visual and decorative.

In 1822 Sir William Phillipps installed a printing Press from which to publish his catalogues of his large book collections.

This was followed in the 1880’s as a ‘Retreat’ for two famous Artists and Designers, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.  The Tower seemed to make a great impression upon them as they went onto to establish the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.


Today the Tower is part of a Country Park and is open for visitors to climb to the Tower and enjoy panoramic views over the Cotswolds, the Industrial Midlands, six counties and to the far-off Welsh Hills. 


Well worth a visit but as always…..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

20th August

(C) David Oakes 2020