Arbor Low and Gib Hill

Tuesday 31 December 2019. During the English leg of our 2019–2020 Europe and Britain holiday we were fortunate enough to visit no fewer than three first-class Neolithic henges: Stonehenge, Avebury and – Arbor Low. Arbor Low lies near the village of Monyash in Derbyshire and is much less well known than its southern cousins. It perhaps dates from around 2500 BC. While Arbor Low is not as immediately impressive as Stonehenge or Avebury, its isolation and loneliness, especially in winter, with the sun sitting low on the horizon, made for a very atmospheric visit. When we arrived in the early afternoon of 2019’s final day, there were two or three other parties visiting; within five minutes the site was ours alone (what a feeling that evokes!). It is thought that Arbor Low’s stones once stood upright; in any case today they are recumbent, like so many stone benches. It was nice to touch them, as it is Avebury’s stones. A small distance away lies Gib Hill, a Neolithic–Early Bronze Age barrow, or burial mound, which may or may not be as old as Arbor Low. We walked over to it and stood on it. Access to the complex is via Upper Oldhams Farm, reached via a track off Long Rake. There is a small parking area on the track. There is a £1 charge; put your coin into the honesty box as you pass through the farm gates.

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