Nine Ladies Stone Circle – Stanton Lees, England - Atlas Obscura
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Stanton Lees, England

Nine Ladies Stone Circle

Legend says this little-known stone circle is formed from people petrified as punishment for dancing on the Sabbath. 

This Bronze Age stone circle is situated in a woodland clearing high on Stanton Moor. The curious arrangement consists of nine upright stones purposefully set in a 30-foot diameter circle. An additional lone stone sits about 100 feet away.

As with most stone circles, nobody really knows why the strange formation was built. Generations of fertile imaginations have come up with their own mythological explanations.

According to local legend, each of the nine boulders was a maiden turned to stone for the crime of dancing on the Sabbath. The tenth unfortunate individual, known as the King Stone, was their fiddler, who is said to come back to life to play once a year.

These days, visitors to Stanton Moor are able to engage in recreational activities seven days a week without fear of being petrified. The area is popular for walking, picnicking, and of course the odd neo-Druid ceremony, particularly around the summer and winter solstices.

Recent plans to reopen a quarry close to the stone circle were overthrown by the national park authority, so this tranquil Bronze Age relic should be guaranteed to persist for the foreseeable future.

Know Before You Go

Stanton Moor is owned and managed by English Heritage and is free to visit. The stone circle is well signposted when you get to the moor. The recommended access is off Lees Road, Stanton. However, limited car parking can also be found in the nearby village of Birchover, which has two excellent pubs for refreshment after a neolithic adventure on the moor.