Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nine Ladies Victory

The King Stone looking towards the Nine Ladies stone circle

There are nine upright stones, each of local millstone grit, each less than a metre high sat in clearing in a modern wood planted on Stanton Moor.[3] They sit in a rough circle with a gap at the south side of the circle where no stone-hole has been found. However, an additional stone, lying flat rather than upright, was discovered after being exposed as a cropmark in the dry weather of 1976. It is now visible.[4] The circle is built on an embankment which levelled the local terrain.[5] The small "King Stone" lies forty metres from the circle to the west-south-west and is clearly visible from it.[1]

The Nine Ladies were among the 28 archetypal monuments in England and Wales included in General Pitt-Rivers' Schedule to the first Ancient Monuments Protection Act, which became law in 1882. It was taken into state care the following year.[6]

[edit] Quarry protest

The hillside

The site has been the focus of a long-running environmental protest.

In 1999 Stancliffe Stone Ltd submitted a planning application re-open two dormant quarries (Endcliffe and Lees Cross) on the wooded hillside beside Stanton Moor. The proposed quarry was only 200 m from Nine Ladies, on land owned by Haddon Hall estate and leased to Stancliffe Stone.

A local protest group SLAG (Stanton Lees Action Group) was set up to oppose the quarry. The group was joined by environmental protestors who set up a long-running and controversial protest camp. They built many tree houses, from which the inhabitants are hard to evict. The protesters defied a court eviction order in February 2004, and continued to occupy the site until the winter of 2008-09.

In 2004 the High Court classified the two quarries as dormant. This decision was appealed but the classification was upheld in June 2005.[7] This meant that the quarries could not re-open until the Peak District National Park Authority agreed on a set of working conditions for them. In 2008 permission to quarry near the circle was finally revoked[8]

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