The sacred landscape that is Hermit’s Cave country

The dramatic rock formation known as Robin Hood’s Stride or Mock Beggars’ Hall near Harthill.

‘Nature detective’ Christopher Mitchell helps us spot the signs to an ancient and sacred landscape this month as we explore Hermit’s Cave country

PUSHING INTO the heart of the Derbyshire limestone plateau is a bulge of gritstone that geologists label Ashover Grit. Its chimney-like buttresses and overhangs provide many challenges for today’s rock climbers and in the far past, offered ideal building material for the ancients who lived here.