On 3rd July, celebrity expert and auctioneer, Charles Hanson, will host an online fundraising auction for the prehistoric heritage site and tourist attraction. The catalogue goes live today, Monday 29th June, at 5pm. 

Creswell Crags, which is run by a charity, was thrown into a desperate financial situation as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. Although emergency funding from several funders, inlcuding the National Lottery Heritage Fund, means that the site will now be able to re-open in August, funding will still be needed to sustain the site and keep the doors open in the uncertain times ahead. This is where Derbyshire-based Charles Hanson, known for TV appearances on shows such as the BBC’s Bargain Hunt, stepped in, to host an online fundraising auction.

Charles Hanson during auctions in May. Credit: Hanson’s

In response to the call for help, over 50 lots flooded in. The online catalogue goes live today, with bidding possible through the website up until the live online auction on Friday 3rd July. Here are just 12 of the fascinating lots on offer:

1. A Weekend at Welbeck

Creswell Crags is part of the historic Welbeck Estate, home to the Dukes of Portland. You, and three others, can stay on the estate, in the Winnings holiday cottages, for two nights. And they’ve thrown in a breakfast hamper from the Welbeck Farm Shop and lunch at the Harley Café.

The Winnings at Welbeck. Credit: Welbeck Estate

2. Unique Woolly Mammoth Art

A unique artwork, a woolly mammoth emerging from the mists of time, painted especially for this auction by Emily Rose Phillips, known for her wildlife paintings. Mammoths once lived in the limestone gorge at Creswell Crags.

Mammoth Art by Emily Rose. Credit: Emily Rose Fine Art

3. Signed books from Professor Alice Roberts

The well-known TV presenter, archaeologist and anthropologist is the patron of Creswell Heritage Trust. She has donated two signed copies of her books.

Alice Roberts [Paul Wilkinson Photography]

4. Cave Art Cartoon by Steve Weatherill

Children’s author, illustrator/cartoonist MA(RCA), Steve, is known for the Baby Goz & Lucy Goose books. He’s donated an original Creswell Crags inspired cartoon to the auction.

Cartoon by Steve Weatherill. Credit: Steve Weatherill

5. Bronze Sculpture by Rachel Carter, with Studio Visit

Rachel Carter’s work is well known in the East Midlands, and beyond. She has donated Carved Form, a bronze sculpture inspired by natural leaf shapes, featuring two delicate textures to highlight the curved structure of the leaf. She’ll also throw in a visit to her studio, once lockdown is over.

6. Tarot Deck and Tarot Reading, with unique Creswell Crags artworks, by Nell Latimer

Drawing on the mystical atmosphere of Creswell Crags, Nell Latimer is offering a Tarot Deck, of her own design, the original signed and framed linocut design for the Hermit card, and a personal online Tarot reading. She has also produced a series of special prints.

Creswell Crags inspired print by Nell Latimer. Credit: Nell Latimer

7. Metal Detecting Experience and Tour of Creswell Crags with Adam Staples

Renowned metal detectorist is offering a small group experience, including tuition in metal detecting and a chance to have a go for yourself at a site close to Creswell Crags. This will also include a guided walk around Creswell Crags, to explore the heritage of this Scheduled Ancient Monument.

8. Knapped Glass Handaxe from James Dilley

A replica prehistoric handaxe carefully flaked using modern glass to create a stunning artistic version of the ancient, flint tool. These are extremely hard to make as the glass is very fragile and frequently breaks during production. Master flintknapper James Dilley has only made a few of these in his lifetime and they are highly sought after. He has also donated a flintknapping experience to the auction.

Knapped Glass Handaxe. Credit: James Dilley

9. A personal book shopping experience at The Barrister in Wonderland, Retford

A real treat for young booklovers, the winner will be welcomed to this specialist children’s bookshop, treated to cake and a chat about books, to make sure you can find the perfect title. After a browse, you will get to take a specially chosen book home, plus receive credit to spend in the shop.

The Barrister in Wonderland Bookshop. Credit: The Barrister in Wonderland

10. Guided Tour Through Gardoms Edge with Dr Dan Brown

Dr Dan Brown, of Nottingham Trent University, will take a group on a guided tour of the ancient landscape of Gardom’s Edge near Baslow. An immersive four-hour long walk, it will include information about the distant past and an introduction to landscape archaeology, putting you in touch with land, sky and people, and the only in-situ rock art in the Peak District.

11. One of a Kind Witch Marks Ghost from York Ghost Merchants

York Ghost Merchants ghosts are made in small batches on an extraordinary medieval street in York known as The Shambles. They are highly sought-after collector’s items. This bespoke York Ghost has been made for the Creswell Crags appeal, inspired by the cave full of Witch Marks discovered at the site in 2019.

York Ghosts from York Ghost Merchants. Credit: York Ghost Merchants on Instagram

12. Knapped Porcelain Jewellery from the Stone Age Ceramic Studio

The Stone Age Ceramic Studio use ancient flintknapping techniques to create unusual jewellery from porcelain, inspired by tools such as those found at Creswell Crags. They have donated two of these beautiful pieces for this auction.

These, and all the other fascinating lots, will be available for advance bidding when the online catalogue goes live, at 5pm on Monday 29th June, via www.hansonslive.co.uk

The auction will take place through the Hanson’s live platform, from 6.30pm on Friday 3rd July.

Creswell Crags has a JustGiving page

For further information, please contact Rebecca Morris-Buck, Communications and Programmes Manager: rebecca.morris-buck@creswell-crags.org.uk