Froggatt Edge, Big Moor and some Stone Circles

Froggatt Edge has been on my list of places to visit for a good while, and during the Spring Week, it was moved to quite a high position on my list of places to visit, along with Stanage Edge, which I visited the previous week (see Stanage Edge on a sunny Bank Holiday Sunday) and also Axe Edge Moor, which I visited a couple of years ago, in the snow.

So Froggatt Edge it was.

I also invited Andy H, a fellow walker who I know from Twitter, @mixedupmessedup along, for he too hadn’t been on Froggatt Edge or Big Moor.

There was no particular route planned, it was just get up there, walk Froggatt Edge, Big Moor and visit three stone circles and a couple of other Bronze Age/Neolithic tumuli.

So I arranged that we meet at the café by Outside Shop in Calver, then move on to Froggatt Edge from there.

Just digressing for a moment, Outside Shop are moving out of their Calver shop back to the main store in Hathersage. The Calver shop will become a Spar and the café will continue under new ownership.

Back to the walk.

From Calver, driving up  through Curbar up to Curbar Gap where we parked up, got booted and suited, then set off up Froggatt Edge.

Froggatt Edge and taking in the first views.....

It was a hot day, with a nice breeze to take the sting out of the heat.

We climbed up Froggatt Edge on to the plateau, taking in the views around us across Big Moor, Calver and further afield, Win Hill, Kinder, Castleton’s Great Ridge and much more.

Incidentally, Big Moor is also known as Barbrook Moor, though it is shown on the Ordnance Survey maps as Big Moor.

We headed off in a westerly direction, for Stoke Flat Stone Circle, passing rock climbers enjoying a pleasant day out on the crags and also fellow walkers enjoying their day out.

The clearly defined footpath on Froggatt Edge

A modernish field system on Big Moor

"......we spotted a small cave, which Andy just had to investigate......"

Looking up Froggatt Edge

Looking down Froggatt Edge
Rock Climbing on Froggatt Edge
As we walked around the edge, we spotted a small cave, which Andy just had to investigate. Well, so would I, but he got there first….

Following the path round, we started to descend a little, passing the first of many cairns before eventually reaching a large enclosure.

The enclosure
Not too long after reaching this enclosure, we would reach the first of four stone circles, Stoke Flat, also known as Froggatt Edge Stone Circle.

This is a rather small stone circle, and like many today, time has taken its toll. The one large stone, which had what could be called an offertory tray dug out on the top, had various offerings left in by passers by.

While we were having a look around, we met with another group that had arrived from the opposite direction, and as all good walkers do, we exchanged friendly chat.

It turned out this particular stone circle was the favourite of one guy in the small group.

Well, we’re all entitled to our favourites, mine is the Nine Ladies, on Stanton Moor.

Stanton Moor is an old favourite of mine, as I mentioned in Alport to Stanton Moor; Sunday 4th March 2012 and also Stanton Moor on a snowy Sunday.

Approaching Stoke Flat Stone Circle

Stoke Flat Stone Circle

" large stone, which had what could be called an offertory tray dug out on the top,
had various offerings left in......

It was time to move on, we have a lot of ground to cover, so we bid each other farewell and a safe journey then Andy and I continued along the path towards the gate to the north of the stone circle.

The gate to the north of Stoke Flat Stone Circle

Looking lovely, the bog ridden White Edge Moor
At this point, we decided to cut across the moor, heading for White Edge.

Now beware when cutting across any moor, particularly one where the map shows that grassy symbol, like below, they can be boggy and dangerous.

The Ordnance Survey marsh/boggy land symbol
My advice, if you’ve the slightest doubt about crossing the moor safely, then head for the gate and follow the path around the moor.

We carried on to the field enclosures to the east of the gate, on Stoke Flat, to continue our trek, or I should say, bog hoping, to White Edge.

From here, we could see Win Hill and a few other places along with the Grouse Inn on the A625. Looking through the binoculars, the pub looked very busy in the beer garden…..

Continuing our bog hoping, we eventually reached White Edge, where we ascended to meet up with the path that would cut across us.

Looking over to Win Hill

Looking over to Bamford Moor

Stanage Edge and Higger Tor

Lunch time was fast approaching; we turned left to head in a north easterly direction to circumnavigate the northern edge of White Edge Moor, to visit the next stone circle and Barbrook Reservoir.

As we followed the path, the breeze had picked up again, but more likely because we had climbed out of a wind sheltered area, and headed for the stone wall that cut across our path, near to Hurkling Stone, where we would stop for lunch.

While walking along the path, we came across some fine masonry handy work, with an inscription on; along with a web address; However, this link does not work; I was merely quoting what was inscribed on the stone.

The path on White Edge

Companion Stone

The Dry Stone Wall, where we had lunch

However, that web address didn’t seem to exist, so a bit of quick and easy research lead me to the following link; and the following link for the actual stone on White Edge;

Now, there is more than one Hurkling Stone in the Peak District. Along with the one on White Edge Moor, there is another on Derwent Moor, which I had come across last year, when I wrote Derwent Moor and those funny shaped stones!. So a little research into what is a Hurkling Stone was called for.

This was proving to be difficult, however, I did stumble across the following; Hurkling or Herklin, means to crouch.

Well, these stones are lying on their sides…..

The views from this high point were fabulous, but then so were the previous views just as fabulous.

We could see Win Hill, Castleton’s Great Ridge, Kinder and Bleaklow, very clearly.

Just past the first set of hills, lies Castleton's Great Ridge, just over to the right

Win Hill and Bamford Moor with Kinder and Bleaklow in the far distance

Bamford Moor and Bleaklow in the distance

Lunch over, we continued along the path until we reached a gate, where we would continue in a easterly direction, eventually joining up with the B6054 at Barbrook Bridge on the northern edge of White Edge Moor.

The gate where we took the easterly path

The B6054 near to Barbrook Bridge

As we followed the path at the edge of the moor, we came across a small herd of Highland cattle, relaxed, watching our every move, complete with some calves.

While passing these cattle, we came upon some wooden holding pens, against the stone wall.

Barbrook Bridge

Cattle Pens

Highland Cattle
Continuing along the path, we started to move away from the road, as we headed for Barbrook Reservoir and the second of our stone circles, Barbrook 3.

Unfortunately, we seemed to miss Lady Cross!

Oh well, next time, we’ll see it….

As we approached Barbrook Reservoir, it became very obvious that the dam had been breached at some time and the reservoir was now decommissioned.

"......Barbrook Reservoir, it became very obvious that the dam had been breached......"

Barbrook Reservoir

Some more research was called for, when and why?

Many thanks to Andy, who also did some research and sent me some links to read.

However, it wasn’t too clear when or why the reservoir was decommissioned, other than a report looking at a selection of reservoirs in the Severn Trent region and their viability.

The reservoir was decommissioned completed during 2003, according to the document “A Biodiversity Action Plan the first five years” from Severn Trent Water.

I quote from this document;
Barbrook Reservoir, Eastern Peak District Moors (19.05 ha) – disused for water supply for many years, for reservoir safety legislation compliance, it became necessary to drain and formally ‘discontinue’ the structure to ensure that it could no longer retain significant volumes of water. English Nature consented to the decommissioning process and agreed on the level of environmental mitigation required, in particular the establishment of new habitats that reflected and complemented those on the surrounding moors. These included wet and dry heath, wetland and open water and the re-establishment of the original streams. The work was completed in August 2003. Penny Anderson Associates were our key consultants and will be monitoring and managing the vegetation to ensure the establishment of the habitats

Anyway, Barbrook 3 stone circle was nearby and is quite small, though larger in diameter than Stoke Flat, with all the stones lying down and quite insignificant with the moorland foliage around it.

You could easily walk past and not see it. However, I’ve a keen eye on tumuli and we managed to pick the stone circle out among the grass around it.

Barbrook 3 Stone Circle, you could easily walk past it!

After a few minutes at the stone circle, we back tracked to the reservoir to pick up the path leading past the house, which was once the pump buildings, and now a residential property.

Walking past the property, there is an access driveway that crosses the path. We carried on across the drive, continuing in a southerly direction, heading for another smaller reservoir and eventually our third and final stone circle.

The access driveway that crossed the path

Looking along the sluice to the breached dam of Barbrook Reservoir

"....and also what looked like some settling tanks, in quite a state of disrepair...."

We could see the old sluice from the dam and also what looked like some settling tanks, in quite a state of disrepair. Hardly surprising considering the fact it is open moorland and the reservoir had been decommissioned in 2003!

Continuing along the path in a southerly direction, we walked through a gate, continuing along the path, where we met a lady coming in the opposite direction.

Now I missed a vital part of the conversation Andy was having with this lady, who had walked from the north of White Edge Moor, down towards Froggatt Edge and was walking back to her car.

However, she hadn’t a map of the area she was walking in and asked if either of us had a map!

Yes, we had maps, and also electronic maps…..

I had two maps, one OS the other was printed on Toughprint waterproof paper while Andy had an OS map and a Harvey’s map. That is as well as the mapping on our GPS devices…..

Anyway, we managed to confirm the lady’s route back to her car. We certainly do meet ‘em out and about…..

Continuing along the path, we finally reach the next, small, reservoir, which was pretty much up to its full level.

Approaching the small reservoir, south of Barbrook Reservoir 
"....we stumbled on another Companion Stone...."

After a few minutes walking the dam, we continued along the path, for the next Stone Circle, where we stumbled on another Companion Stone, but this one had been vandalised.

Someone, or persons, had pushed the top part down the hill. However, this one looks like the one from the Companion Stone web pages, on the following link.

The art work on one side seemed to represent a body, with a head, hand and foot inscribed on one side.

Following the path, we had to pass a left hand curve then an almost right angled right hand bend, where we would almost be right upon the third and final stone circle, Barbrook 1.

Well, sure enough, it was there, clear as day, the third and final stone circle, Barbrook 1, along with a cairn approximately 55 mtrs north east of the stone circle.

Barbrook 1 Stone Circle 
More offerings, this tie for Barbrook 1 Stone Circle

Barbrook 1 Stone Circle from the Cairn, just up the hill

The Cairn near Barbrook 1 Stone Circle

Well, so far so good, fantastic day, all stone circles I had looked at on the map, we had bagged, plus the reservoir.

The next stop was Swines Sty, which is not as you might think, an ancient pig sty but an ancient settlement.

To access this settlement, we would once again need to go off path, across Big Moor.

Now, I had made an error in my navigation here. For some strange reason, I had worked out we needed to head south west, but for some inexplicable reason, had set the compass to south east!

Fortunately, my sense of direction, map reading and looking at the lay of the land, told me the compass setting was wrong and to head in the desired direction.

Our 'off path' route to Swines Sty settlement

This was confirmed by Andy’s gps, which by the way was Viewranger mapping on his phone.

I was puzzled, because the bearing I set and the desired bearing, which we took, was 90º out!

If it was 180º out, that could be reversed polarity, but it wasn’t. My explanation? It was a senior moment.

It just goes to show, how easy it is to make a mistake, but taking all the information in around me, we were able to go with the calculated information and ignore the compass.

We arrived at Swines Sty, a very derelict site, almost looking like a gritstone edge!

Swines Sty Settlement

Inscribed rock at Swines Sty Settlement

Looking over to Froggatt Edge from Swines Sty

In hindsight, I’m guessing it was just a random error, not one I would make normally.

Perhaps a little heat exhaustion, especially as I had consumed virtually 3 litres of water during the walk.

My 3 litre hydration pack was as good as empty when I got home. Fear not, I did have another 500ml bottle as reserve along with a 700ml flask inside my pack.

After spending a few minutes at Swines Sty, we plotted our course, north westerly, for Froggatt Edge and back to Curbar Gap.

The tall stake which provided a good navigation point
This time, I had set my compass correctly….

There was a tall stake in the ground, directly North West, which we aimed for, taking us around the back of the field system by Froggatt Edge, then back up on to Froggatt Edge.

Once on Froggatt Edge, we picked up the path and headed to the left back to the point where we ascended to, ready to start our descent down to Curbar Gap.

We had to walk around the field system on Big Moor, before we could head to Froggatt Edge

Froggatt Edge 
"....we picked up the path and headed to the left back to the point where we ascended...."

Our descent down to Curbar Gap

Once back at the cars, we then headed back in to Calver, to call in at the Outside Shop and also garb a cuppa and a cake, before setting off back home.

I would like to say thank you to Andy, for being great company and I look forward to the next walk, hopefully not too far in the future.

Parking at Curbar Gap

Map showing our circuit around Froggatt Edge, Big Moor and White Edge Moor

Finally, happy rambling and thank you for reading,
Peak Rambler

I wrote about Toughprint Waterproof paper and my pleasantly surprising experiences with it. You can read about it here; Toughprint Waterproof Paper from Memory map


  1. Enjoyed the write up of a great day out, hopefully we'll be out again soon.

    1. Thank Andy, it was a superb day out.

      I'll give you a shout when I'm next out.

  2. That sounded a very interesting and plasant walk Mike. It's always a bonus to have things to look out for. Enjoyed your write up. Cheers, Geoff

    1. It was a fantastic day and walk. The Peaks are full of tumuli, stone circles and other neolithic artifacts, as well as the wrecks on kinder, Bleaklow and about.

  3. I do like a nice stone circle - but had no idea about all of those! I think perhaps I haven't done enough walking in the White Peak (although I have eaten a lot of cakes in the Outside Café - fancy it closing?)!

    1. The Peaks are full of stone circles, with many websites dedicated to them and other neolithic sites and tumuli.

      Probably the best examples I've seen are Arbor Low near Youlgreave and the Nine Ladies on Stanton Moor.