The Ipstones Sun Temple?

In the past I have come across references to a Sun Temple close to Ipstones, I have searched for it in the past without any success. However as I was searching for the Indefont well at Ipstones I decided to have another attempt at finding it. The only clues I had to go on were the farms mentioned in the references to the temple, these were Sexton farm which is marked on the Ordnance Survey map and is located close to the crossroads which lead to Ipstones Edge, the other farm was Whitehough which I was unaware of.

Sexton farm turned out to be a false lead as it was uninhabited and derelict, although I was told a policeman had brought it around five years ago no work had been done on it as it was a listed building and an enormous amount of money needed spending on it. I carried on past Sexton farm and called in at the first farm I came to on the right hand side of the road. It was here that I was given directions to Whitehough farm, by returning to the crossroads and heading in the direction of Ipstones Edge I would eventually come to a right turn in the road after about a mile,  to the left of this turn I would see a dirt track which would lead to Whitehough.

I followed these directions and was pleased to find they were accurate and so I parked up next to the driveway to the farm. I was just deciding whether to walk down the driveway to the farm which was about threequarters of a mile away when a tractor and trailer pulled into the driveway, I flagged down the driver and asked him about the Sun Temple and after giving it a few moments thought he pointed out the wood that can be seen in the background of this photo. I asked him if I needed permission to walk to it, but he said that there were public footpaths which lead to it, so with out further ado I thanked him and I headed towards the wood.

As I drew nearer to the wood I was able to make out the large boulders which are said to form the Sun Temple.

The temple was discovered by a Harold Bode and his Wife when they were out walking one day when he noticed the stones,”in a woodland that primitive people might venerate”. He spotted other boulders in a nearby field and came to the conclusion that he was seeing some sort of “prehistoric temple.” When he returned at a later date he noticed that the sun set above a certain stone which aligned with Sharpcliffe Rocks, he later went on to name this stone, the Sun Stone. The four corners of the Sun Stone are said to point to the four points of the compass and there is also a dished section on the top of the stone on its South East quarter where water collects, this is said to reflect the suns rays at the time of the mid winter sunrise.

Harold Bode also claimed that he had found a groove upon this stone which runs from North to west and aligns with the mid summer sunset. By looking along this line two marker stones can be made out on nearby Sharpcliffe Rocks, however the trees tend to obscure the view somewhat.

Harold also claims that he has found another stone to the East and was able to calculate that this stone aligned with the equinox dawn sunrise. To the South West another stone can be found, this one has a shape like a pyramid and at midsummer the moon is said to rise above it.

Another triangular shaped stone can be found to the West and this one is said to indicate the time of Beltaine and Samhain and to the South can be found a cairn and also a marker stone which mark the full moon at midnight and also mid-day.

Harold also discovered yet another stone to the North which points to the cove in the woodland, this one has purposefully been hollowed out to hold water, at the equinox sunset the sun would set towards the horizon and as it did so its rays would strike the water held in this stone and would appear to “strike fire out of the water.” It is Harold’s belief that this equinox stone has been damaged on purpose, also Harold went on to say that he had found a heavily pitted stone which had markings of the zodiac upon it.

And finally perhaps these stones are the reason that Ipstones acquired its unusual name, the old spelling of the name would have been Yp stones, perhaps like these strange stones their purpose and their name will remain a mystery.

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11 Responses to “The Ipstones Sun Temple?”

  1. Very Good! I like this one a lot. So glad you were able to find it and share it with us.

  2. Not Harold Bole, but the late Harold Bode of Leek

  3. Regarding the ‘Yp stones’, here are two images of the Hopestone in Park Lane, Ipstones, with a reference to it possibly being the ‘yppe’ stone from which Ipstones derives its name:
    http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/417296
    http://www.staffordshireimages.org.uk/image_details.php?image_id=416832&wherefrom=viewCategory

  4. btw: it’s not Whiteclough but Whitehough, which is a Grade II star listed farmhouse.

  5. Whist looking for the sun temple, we accidentally found another group of Stones on the other side of White Hough. There was evidence of Pagan ceremonies.

  6. My family farm at Whitehough, the man on the tractor, especially if it was a David Brown was probably one of my uncles. Anyway I have been in those woods many times and have often wondered if they were more than just rocks…. now I know, very interesting I’ll be having another look next time I’m there

  7. Very interesting !

  8. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing…

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