Subterranea Britannica

Creswell Crags

Creswell Crags Museum & Heritage Centre
Crags Road, Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK, S80 3LH
Further information Creswell Crags.

OS Grid Ref: SK533758
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[Source: Tony Radstone]

Creswell Crags is a limestone gorge honeycombed with caves and smaller fissures. Stone tools and remains of animals found in the caves by archaeologists provide evidence for a fascinating story of life during the last Ice Age between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago

Creswell Crags represents one site among a significant cluster of cave sites inhabited during the last Ice Age in Britain. The dramatic limestone gorge is tucked away within the gently undulating limestone landscape on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border. Archaeological and environmental evidence excavated from the caves show how the area witnessed dramatic changes in climate at the edge of the northern ice sheets and was populated by Ice Age animals such as hyenas, mammoths, woolly rhinoceros, and migrating herds of reindeer, horse and bison.

Significantly the caves provided shelter for nomadic human groups through a crucial period of human evolution between 55,000 and 10,000 years ago. Stone, bone and ivory tools from the caves reveal Middle and Upper Palaeolithic occupation, in addition to portable and recently discovered 13000 year old engraved rock art figures of deer, birds, bison, and horse. This evidence connects the Ice Age human cultures at Creswell Crags to groups across North West Europe

Today Creswell Crags is an internationally renowned archaeological site as well as being a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Conservation Area and a registered Park and Garden. The site is managed by the Creswell Heritage Trust and welcomes over 45,000 visitors a year. Cave tours are available at weekends and every day during local holidays.

[Source: Tony Radstone]

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