From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present
Creswell Crags
Statistics
Category
County
Coordinates
Grid
Condition
Age
Admission
Limestone Gorge
Derbyshire
53°15' 40.32" N 1°11' 52.55" W
SK536741
Good
43,000BC
Donation
Map


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  • History
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Creswell Crags is a limestone gorge in North East Derbyshire, near the village of Creswell.

The cliffs of the ravine contain various caves that were occupied during the last ice age, between around 43,000 and 10,000 years ago. The caves contain occupation layers with evidence of flint tools from different cultures. They were seasonally occupied by nomadic groups of people during the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods.

Evidence of Neolithic, Bronze Age, Roman and post-medieval activity has also been found. In April 2003, engravings and bas-relief's were found on the walls and ceilings of some of the caves, an important find as it had previously been thought that no British cave art existed. To this day the finds at Creswell Crags represent the only known examples of Paleolithic cave art in Britain.

The road running through the crags has been closed and removed.

Hundreds of protective marks, also known as Witches’ Marks, have been discovered at Creswell Crags. These Apotropaic marks, from the Greek apotrepein, meaning ‘to turn away’, have been discovered scribed into walls and ceilings of the caves, over dark holes and large crevices.