Creswell Crags and the Ice Age
I live in a small mining village in Derbyshire called Creswell, but this village has a historical past as well. Not only because it is a mining village but because it is the furtherest north that iceman is known to have travelled.
Creswell Crags is situated just outside the village, it is a limestone valley. They have now found many caves and with one of particularly interest because there have been found some drawings / engravings of animals.
They believe that iceman walked up in the summers from the south of England and from North France but only stayed for a few weeks before returning. This was when Europe was still attached to Great Britain. It is thought that they travelled up here following the reindeer and for the rich hunting grounds that Creswell Crags had at the time.
If you do decide to visit Creswell Crags you will find that it is now deemed one of the most important archaeological finds in England especially for its ice rock drawings. There is a long lake fed by a stream down the middle surrounded on two sides by steep rock faces into which iceman dug out caves. These caves are now protected by grills allowing you to look inside but they do provide guided tours so that you can go inside the caves and have a look around.
At the moment they are still exploring some of the caves archeologically and finding bits of bones and tools. They are also part way through building a brand new building to house the museum and learning rooms, this is supposed to be finished at the end of this year, 2008.
At certain times of year, particularly school holidays and bank holidays, you can see a demonstration of how iceman made their tools out of flint (stone) and bone by a man dressed in furs. There are also during these times activities for the children, to learn about the ice age through art and crafts.
What else can you do at Creswell Crags? Well you can visit the existing museum and education rooms. The museum tells the story of how animals and man managed to survive the harsh conditions of the ice age with many displays and in the education rooms you can watch a video about Creswell in prehistoric times and also experience the ice age via touch screen computers. There is also a gift shop there which stocks many things including fossils, gems, jewellery, and books on all many subjects related to the Crags.
A great web site to look at providing a virtual tour especially for children is:-
For more information
Photo courtesy of http://www.creswell-crags.org.uk
Gill Webster is the England Editor for Wandering Educators.