4. Three Ships Gardom’s Edge

The Three Ships stand on the ridge above the Robin Hood Inn,

on the Baslow road. I know them well, since my mother used to

live near here at Eastmoor. Right next to the Ships is the Nelson

monument, which commemorates the Trafalgar victory of 1805,

and the carved names on the stones clearly date from the same



Three Ships,Gardom’s Edge

Stepping onto Gardom’s Edge

the peopled land, the farmed land falls away.

Skylarks unstitch it from the air.

Sudden, but solid as cheeses,

innocent as cows;

the Ships.

Three stones at rest in heather,

three ship-shaped stones

unmoved by winds.

A climber’s mile from field wall,

landlord, voice.

Three settled shapes.

Steadfast, snub-nosed,

holding the land to its unwieldy past

like great grey buttons.


chiselled on a gritstone bulk.


The names marked out for Nelson.

The sides lined thickly as a tired brow

in places: but in other spots, as finely

as the back of my hand.

Sometimes a love of place will fill you

like a kite lifts from blown heather: like a sail. .