How did an antiquarian record Arbor Low in the 1700s?(read more)
DERSB : 1979.1111
Stone axehead found at Arbor Low, 5,500 - 4,500 years old (Neolithic).
Stone axes were made to extremely high standards. It requires great skill and time to craft and finish objects from such hard material. Maintaining tools made them more efficient and long lasting. They grew smaller as they were sharpened and re-polished. Some axes came from places far away. This axe is made from a volcanic tuff found in the Lake District. Other axes came places such as Wales, Cornwall, Northern Ireland, and even northern Italy. They were cherished, traded and used over many generations.
Many stone tools have been found in the landscape around Arbor Low, suggesting this was an important focal point for prehistoric people, but no one really knows why or what people did there. Did people gather here seasonally to meet each other and celebrate festivals? The earthen bank and ditch of the henge were built around 4,500 years ago and can be seen from miles away. Around 500 years later a stone circle was added, hidden from view by the bank of the henge. Archaeologists are still debating whether or not the stones stood upright.
Arbor Low is situated slightly off the summit of a high, broad limestone ridge in the parish of Middleton and Smerrill. This area lies in the central uplands of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The name appears to derive from 'Eorthburg Hlaw' which means Earthwork Mound. The site is composed of a henge monument, consisting of a massive bank and internal ditch which forms an oval area. Inside this central area is a stone circle, currently flat, with a central cove. Two gaps in the ditch and bank form 'entrances' into the central area on the north-western and south-eastern sides of the monument. A large barrow has been superimposed into the bank in the south-eastern quadrant of the monument.
- Description: width 51mm; height 26mm; length 118mm
- How old is it? Neolithic (4000 BC - 2200 BC)
- Who collected it? unknown (finder)
- Credits: Storrs Fox Collection
- Rights: Creative Commons CC BY-NC 4.0 Buxton Museum and Art Gallery (part of Derbyshire County Council)