Arbor Low is the Stone Henge of Derbyshire. Situated high on the uplands of the White Peak, Arbor Low and nearby Gib Hill are among the best prehistoric monuments in the country dating from around 2500 BC.
Arbor Low is managed by English Heritage and is accessible to the public by walking through Upper Oldhams Farm which is about three miles south of Monyash, not far from the A515 Buxton to Ashbourne road. There is limited roadside parking on the lane at the bottom of the drive leading to the farm as well as a few spaces on the drive itself.
Abor Low is an ancient henge or tumulus that lies just below the summit of the hill at a height of some 1,225 feet, and appears from above like a giant clock face on the landscape. It is fascinating to walk around the bank and ditch which enclose a circular area more than 75 metres in diameter that surround a circle of prostrate limestone boulders and to admire the far reaching views whilst contemplating whey and how our early forefathers should construct such a magnificent place.
It is said there are about forty stones within Arbor Low, with four particularly large stones at the centre. How long they have been lying flat is not known, but they must have been a formidable sight when standing upright.
Derbyshire is rich in tumuli, referred to as Lows, The majority have now been excavated by archaeologists and many of their findings can be found in the local museum at Buxton as well as Weston Park Museum at Sheffield.
Thomas Bateman who lived at Lomberdale Hall near Middleton-by-Youlgreave in the mid 1800’s is famed for his archaeological studies and excavations of tumuli and was said to have successfully opened up Arbor Low. He discovered a large cist in which were two urns, the shoulder blade and antlers of a red deer, together with a number of rat bones. Approximately 300 yards to the west of Arbor Low is Gib Hill, also known as Bunker’s Hill, which is a large conical shaped tumulus that also contained human bones, a fling arrow head, and a fragment of a basalt celt, an iron fibula and other objects.