- County: Derbyshire
- National Park: Peak District
- Nearest Town(s): Hathersage
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time: 15 mins – 4 hours
- Height: 438m
- Map: OS Explorer OL1 The Peak District, Dark Peak area (OS Explorer Map)*
Stanage Pole is our first Intersected Station (as opposed to our usual favourite, the might trig pillar). It brings with it plenty of history and great views.
A pole has stood on this site for hundreds of years, marking the the borders of Derbyshire, South Yorkshire, and probably the ancient kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria.
It is a prominent marker placed on an ancient route called the Long Causeway, making it a useful waypoint for travellers. Even now, walkers and cyclists alike use it as a rest point; somewhere to have a quick drink and to decipher the graffiti dating back to at least 1697.
We bagged this iconic trig point as part of our Stanage Edge walk. If you haven’t read it already, go and read the first post, Stanage Edge before carrying on here.
Where to Park
As mentioned in our Stanage Edge post, we parked on a roadside car park right next to the start of our route.
I would mention here that it is important to respect the parking restrictions – stick to the car parks and laybys rather than the verges. There are plenty around (some are free, some which charge for parking) so there’s no excuse. Get up early to be sure of space, or visit later in the day when the masses are heading for the pub.
The Walk In
From the Stanage Edge trig pillar, you simply need to be able to walk in a straight line across the top for a little while. The views are splendid and there is great fun to be had in jumping between rocks, though stay away from the edge lest you fall or get surprised by a bearded trad climber (usually recognisable by the unmistakeable clinking of their gear dangling from their harness.)
Eventually, you reach a fence and the path clearly forks. Follow the fence line and the path to your right out to the moors and away from the edge. You’d be hard pushed to miss the pole,.
It’s worth noting, if you’re following an OS map, that whilst there is a minor path cutting across to the pole earlier on, that this seemed to be inaccessible when we visited, so you need to carry on to the corner and stick to major paths. The access to the minor path seems to have been removed in order to allow the moors to regenerate so best to respect the rules here.
The View From The Pillar
As with all the Stanage Edge trig points, the views from Stanage Pole are great. More interesting for us though, was the graffiti on the surrounding boulders, dating back to at least the 15th century, a time when most of the area was out of bounds for common people, and was the playground of the wealthy aristocrats instead.
This graffiti, if my research is correct, is theorised to have be carved by Catholics, who at the time were heavily persecuted in the UK. I’ll link some resources at the bottom of this point which makes for more interesting reading.
The Walk Continued
At this point, it’s well worth continuing your walk to the final trig pillar we bagged on this day at High Neb.
However, you could also turn back and head home via the same route you took in or take the route down off of the Edge, through the Stanage Plantation and back to the North Lees campsite.
To read the rest of the route we took, head over to our High Neb article.
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