Monday, 12 February 2007

Have you ever seen one of these?

I hadn't, until yesterday... But there are lots of them around Derbyshire!

See what you can find out about them... And if you can tell me how they got their name (which I'll let you find out for yourself!), I'll be very impressed, because after a very long internet search, I still don't know...


Mrs K said...

I'm afraid you'll have to put me out of my misery ... it's obviously not one of the Dovedale Stepping Stones, and although it could be one of numerous stone circles, that doesn't make sense with the writing. It looks like a gravestone, but you'd know why that would be called that ... so please can you let me (and perhaps a few other readers who are still in the dark) know what it's called? Then I can try and get on to why it's called that ...

(And, by the way, when is your half term?)

geogtastic! said...

They're GUIDE STOOPS - this particular one is called Ballcross, and is near to Pilsley and the Chatsworth Farm Shop (highly recommended!).

They are early signposts, which were placed on "bleak and featureless moorland" in the early 1700s.

I've got photos of some others which I'll post tomorrow...

Anyway, I can figure out where the "guide" bit comes from, but the "stoops" is a mystery to me!

It is interesting though, that there is a pub near my parents' house called Yeadon Stoops - and despite driving past it many times, I hadn't realised until the other day that there is guide stoop near it, which is presumably where it got its name!

I'll look forward to hearing what you come up with, as regards the "stoops" Mrs K!

(And half-term is nearly over :-( )

Mrs K said...

I looked up the definition of "stoop" on wiki. I presume these stones come from the Dutch "stoep", meaning platform or pavement, which also gives us "step" in English. Because the stones look like steps? It could, however, also be from Aglo-Saxon "stupian" meaning to bow or bend - because you have to bend down to read them, perhaps?!

I wonder what your other readers make of these alternative etymologies?

And enjoy your last couple of days of half term ... mine are just beginning ... but no Ofsted call yet, so I think it'll be quite busy!

geogtastic! said...

I wonder too, what the other readers think of the alternative etymologies!!

I thought about the stoep possibility - but they don't really look much like steps!

My dad suggested the stooping one in jest - but actually, if you were on a horse, you would need to stoop to read them!