Nine Ladies is a Bronze Age stone circle located in a clearing on Stanton Moor in Derbyshire
The circle consists of nine stones made from the local millstone. They sit in a rough circle with a gap at the south side of the circle where no stone-hole has been found. However, an additional stone, lying flat rather than upright, was discovered after being exposed as a crop mark in the dry weather of 1976. It is now visible. The small 'King Stone' lies forty metres from the circle to the west-south-west and is clearly visible from it
Although there have long been concerns over such an isolated archaeological site being exposed to damage, towards the end of the 20th century these fears led to a series of surface surveys and exploratory excavations being undertaken. Ground surveys were undertaken by Trent & Peak Archaeological Trust between 1988 and 1997, leading to small-scale excavations in 2000 with the purpose of determining whether modern-day disturbance causes loss of archaeological deposits
The site has been the focus of a long-running environmental protest. In 1999 Stancliffe Stone Ltd submitted a planning application to re-open two dormant quarries (Endcliffe and Lees Cross) on the wooded hillside beside Stanton Moor. The proposed quarry was only 200 metres from Nine Ladies, on land owned by Haddon Hall estate and leased to Stancliffe Stone.
A local protest group SLAG (Stanton Lees Action Group) was set up to oppose the quarry. The group was joined by environmental protesters who set up a long-running and controversial protest camp. They built many tree houses, from which the inhabitants were hard to evict. The protesters defied a court eviction order in February 2004, and continued to occupy the site until the winter of 2008–09.
In 2004, the High Court classified the two quarries as dormant. There was an appeal against the decision, but the classification was upheld in June 2005. This meant that the quarries could not re-open until the Peak District National Park Authority agreed on a set of working conditions for them. In 2008 permission to quarry near the circle was finally revoked.