Wednesday, 27 April 2011

News - New Attractions At Creswell Crags

Visitors are getting up close and personal to Britain’s oldest art thanks to £91,000 worth of improvements at historic Creswell Crags.

The limestone gorge and caves, bordering Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, now boasts interactive museum exhibits and a new viewing platform in Church Hole cavern – location of ancient Ice Age wall engravings.

Donations of £45,000 from Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK through the Landfill Communities Fund and £46,000 from Bolsover North East Derbyshire LEADER Approach made the scheme possible.

Ian Wall, Director of Creswell Crags Heritage Trust, which manages the Crags – location of Europe’s most northerly Ice Age art – said: “The new platform and interactive museum zone are now fully open and visitors love them.

“The idea was to enhance visitor experience to Creswell Crags and really help bring to life the story of our Ice Age ancestors. Thanks to the generous funding from Lafarge and the LEADER we believe we have achieved this.
“The new metal platform looks more fitting against the landscape and ensures visitors get a great view of the Church Hole cavern paintings, while the interactive exhibits really let people get hands-on with history.

“People can dig for artefacts in a simulated excavation display and use a giant microscope to examine animal teeth and bone fragments.”

David Atkinson, Senior Planning and Estates Manager for Lafarge, which has a quarry nearby and is a long-standing supporter of the Heritage Trust, said the additions were impressive, adding: “We are proud to continue to support our neighbour the Heritage Trust with a significant donation towards this project.

“The new amenities are a wonderful addition to the existing excellent facilities at what is one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe.”

The Church Hole engravings and bas-reliefs, discovered in 2003, were a momentous discovery as before then it was thought no Ice Age cave art existed from that era in Britain.

The drawings, including deer, bison, birds and horses, remain the most northerly finds in Europe and put Creswell Crags firmly on the archaeological map.

Excavations at the caves show they were used as shelter by our early human ancestors between 55,000 and 10,000 years ago and animals such as hyenas, mammoths and woolly rhinoceros roamed nearby.

No comments:

Post a Comment