Archaeological dig in Anston Stones



Dead Man's Cave/Anston Stones Wood




Professor Mark White from Durham University is leading a team in a fresh dig in Anston Stones.

Anston Gorge is designated a SSSI and with good cause.It is one of the finest examples of the gorges within the Creswell Limestone Heritage Area. The landscape is dominated by Magnesium Limestone cliffs and the general area supports distictive types of rare plants and animals and ancient woodlands. The limestone was used in the rebuilding work at the Houses of Parliament after the fire in 1834.
Dead Man’s cave is reached from Anston Parish Hall car park by following the well marked path to the gorge and by taking the higher path at the fork. The path leads to a mini gorge with rock shelters and fissures which have not been excavated. Just before the path descends and to the right there is a right fork which will bring you to the edge of the limestone cliff. To the left is a path which leads down to the cave/rock shelter.
Dead Man’s cave was excavated in the 1960’s and archaeologists found flint stone tools used by hunters 12,000 years ago. Bones from Ice Age animals such reindeer and hyena were also found. The Magnesium Limestone is estimated to be 260,000 years old and Anston Stones is one of the very few sites where this type of rock formation is found.

So far a piece of flint and a few pieces of glazed pottery have been uncovered which will add to the knowledge and artefacts discovered in previous digs.

Professor Mark White will give a presentation on Wednesday 13 July at 7pm in Anston Parish Hall. Everyone is welcome and visitors are recommended to read the display boards in the parish hall which give more information about Anston Stones from the Ice Age to the present day. If you want to see the display boards in the meantime please ring the parish office on 01909 560922 between 9am -12 noon Monday-Friday so the staff can make arrangements for your visit.

There will also be another team from Durham University at Creswell Craggs excavating outside Mother Grundy’s Cave. Professor Paul Pettit will give a presentation about this at 1:30pm on Saturday 9th July.



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13 Responses to Archaeological dig in Anston Stones

  1. dwainopv5006 says:

    I enjoy reading through an article that can make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!


  2. Morgan says:

    Comment removed because it was irrelevant to the topic.


  3. Norman says:

    I didn’t see why you felt the need to edit my last post credit were it’s due please


  4. Norman says:

    Thank you very much for the informative information I truly appreciate the opportunity to enjoy this woodland and so do meany others thank you apc for maintaining this place to such a standard


  5. Norman says:

    I personally haven’t seen any negative comments on here about this item it is of great educational value to the community over the years apc have put alot of time and effort in to stone’s wood to get it to the standard it is today however it seems funding is less than it as been so far this year with very little been allocated I really hope apc see the value in such places as we are only caretaker s and must answer to the next generation


    • Watchman says:

      You raise some good points.
      As for funding; The site is ultimately under the control of Natural England, APC are the landowners.
      The maintenance of the footpaths is the responsibility of RMBC.
      APC’s budget for ASW in 2016/17 is £17,600, this is less than the 2016/16 budget for ASW because RMBC cut the grant to Anston by £10,00 each year until 2018 which was agreed and voted for by the previous Labour administration.


    • Patriot. says:

      Norman, you are right. You wouldn’t have seen any negative comments on here about this item because there weren’t any until you posted. Like I said There are people on here who will stop at nothing in their efforts to put the current APC down. You are one of them, or maybe one with many different alias’. I expect you are feeling very proud . Give yourself a pat on the back. I sometimes or should I say often, or should I say always wonder why the current Anston Parish Councillors bother. Why do they bother to put their UNPAID AND WIDELY UNAPPRECIATED time and effort into trying to please the likes of you. Maybe some will give up bothering.


  6. Having a triple S I in Anston is a huge deal, also it belongs to APC therefore it belongs to the public! It’s something wonderful and positive that generations can hand down to the next, like the National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


  7. David Cawkwell. says:

    I would also recommend the display in the Parish Hall, it’s very informative and as mentioned above a good effort by Cllr.Sadler.
    We are lucky to have an historically recognised SSSI site in Anston and I know the parish council spends quite a sum of money making sure the site is accessible for everyone to enjoy.

    A number of contributors to this blog should be working for Kodak IMV. They’re so negative.
    They have absolutely no idea what the legal responsibiities are by APC for open spaces and ASW.
    Perhaps they should try and celebrate that Durham University has chosen Anston Stones SSSI to undertake more research for evidence of early human habitation.


  8. christine sadler says:

    Very kind Patriot but this is a community project with input from staff at Creswell Craggs visitor centre, they are truly a wonderful asset, thankyou to them all for giving unstintingly of their time and expertise, and Mark White at Durham University for his time and patience.


  9. christine sadler says:

    Worth a visit to the Stones archaeologists very friendly and informative, only one more week and they will be gone so get down there quick or/and to Creswell Crags to meet the diggers there. Creswell is truly wonderful, staff second to none and brill displays and finds, including a bear tooth found in Anston Stones, yes there really was a bear in the Stones!!!!! and likely the same animals as Creswell. Nice easy walk with a pushchair either from Parish Hall car park or track on Rackford Road, through the gate, dagonally across big field and follow the track, archaeologists at the side of the track, can’t miss ’em.


  10. Patriot. says:

    I have been to see the fantastic display in the Parish hall and would like to thank and congratulate Cllr Sadler for all her hard work in initiating and setting this up, and would also thank the members and staff of APC for all of their help in assisting Christine with this project. There are people on here who will stop at nothing in their efforts to put APC down but I say credit where credit is due. But don’t take my word for it, come and see for yourself the wonderful information and pictures of Anstons ancient history which is something we should all be proud of.


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