Creswell Crags, working with Nottingham Trent University, was delighted to a host a 6 week graduate internship in September and October 2019. Lewis Edwards did some brilliant work with us in that time and we’d like to say a big thank you to him. Here’s his blog post reflecting on his time at the Crags, and what he learnt whilst he was here.

Creswell Crags Preservation in time: Lewis Edwards (Nottingham Trent University)
Since undertaking my internship I have been part of a unique workplace which has given me an insight into the history during the Ice Age Period in a beautiful setting. Creswell Crags’ isolation and distance from a large urban center makes this a great place, worth coming to.

The limestone gorge and surrounding caves provides a stand out environment and is a wonderful place for the peace and tranquility of pleasant walks. It’s unusual geographical location being on the border between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire further makes this a fascinating place to visit. It also has a wide variety of wildlife and is a haven for birds, which can be seen in abundance on the feeders.

The lake at a the Crags is also a valuable part of the area created through historic damming which has left a place for ducks and other wildlife to live, and which was, the story goes, historically created by the Duke of Portland, as a barrier to prevent a railway track passing through the gorge.

Photo by Sophie Norton

The caves provide an unmatched setting with the rich abundance of archeological artefacts and engravings making them a place where you can gain a rare insight into the area’s distant past, when the climate was very different. It’s also interesting to note that the caves themselves have changed quite recently: the entrances would have been much smaller during the Ice Age and only appear as they do today because of the Victorians who blew them up in search for archeology!

Creswell Crags’ cave art is also very valuable – found mostly in Church Hole cave. The idea that people were drawing animals which were not found in the land which became the British Isles is evidence of  past migration routes, which I find very fascinating.

The caves and rocks in the area are part of an SSSI and Scheduled Ancient Monument, which makes it a site that I feel is a status exceptionally valuable to preserving the artefacts and natural setting of this site.

There is so much to see and study, integrated together, making the site so very unique and a place that is difficult to match. The combination of its environment, landscape and archeology make it a distinct place that I personally highly prize and helps to preserve the past.