It often amazes me just how unaware we are of the stunningly historical Sites so close to our homes that some locals have never visited or maybe aren’t even aware of.
A Site such as this doesn’t get much more historic than Creswell Crags – This Spectacular limestone Gorge sits on the border between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The Gorge is dotted with a large number of caves, fissures and rock shelters that each harbour Secrets from our Prehistoric past which spans a 60,000 year history.
Archeologists have been on this site since the 19th Century when the Victorians first uncovered artifacts that lay for thousands of years just below the Caves surface.
There are many cave systems, however in this blog I will talk about a few of the largest with the most significant finds to give you a historical outline of the location and then go on to talk about the most Incredible finds of the 21st Century for Great Britain.
Church Hole – is a world famous cave within the Crags that contains some of the most stunning examples of the oldest verified care art in the UK. Incredible images of a Bison, Reindeer and birds as well as a few abstract symbols which may be Religious in context.
It also appears that this cave housed humans at some point.
Archaeological finds include Quartzite and flint tools which are believed to have belonged to Neanderthals. Flint, Antler, and bone tools are also discoveries believed to have been used by humans living during the last ice Age.
Robin Hoods Cave – Legend has it that this cave provided shelter for Britain’s most famous outlaw who was hiding from the Nottinghamshire authorities. However, as with many Robin Hood tales fantasy outweighs the facts. saying that, what we can be sure of is that the cave did shelter peop le during the last ice Age.
Pin hole – Excavations of this cave system found two of the earliest examples Of ‘Art Mobilier’ (mobile Art) which dates back roughly 12, 500 year’s. ‘pin hole man’ is a bone that features the profile of a man or beast stood on two legs. A rib bone was also found that featured a cross -hatched design. It is thought that this design may have been a language, symbol or a form of counting…. or it could simply have been a doodle. Its exact purposecan only be speculated at this point.
Mother Grundy’s Parlour – In the Mid 19th Century a local woman from Creswell Village dreamt that treasure would be found in this cave. Her husband decided to take the opportunity and Conducted the very first excavation to take place at Mother Grundy’s Parlour. The results of this excavation aren’t known for sure, however it is believed that a hippopotamus tooth was discovered and sold soon after – a treasure of sorts.
Since that time 6 teams of Archaeologists found fractured horse teeth showing that Ice Age hunter gatherers were butchering horses at this site around 12, 000 years ago.
The Arch – A small area of this Site was excavated in 1979 from which they found no evidence of human use was found, but they didn’t leave the care disappointed. Stunningly they found evidence that the cave was home to animals long lost to the UK, Bears, Spotted Hyenas, Woolly Rhinoceroses, Bovids, and Reindeer.
Although excavations have taken place on this site now for quite some time, the Crags are still letting go of some of its secrets little by little that underline the historical importance of this site.
A recent discovery hailed as one of the most significant finds of the 21st Century found hundreds, if not thousands of markings previously thought of as nothing more than modern graffiti were found.
In the UK the largest number of these markings Were thought to be at a site in Somerset Containing some 57 markings, however the markings found at Creswell Crags drastically exceed this number in one cave alone.
The Apotropaic marks, Apotropaic meaning ‘to turn away’ were found Scribed into the walls and ceilings of the caves, over dark holes and crevices. These Ritualistic protective marks known as witch marks are most commonly found in historic churches and houses near entrance points such as doors, windows and fireplaces to protect the inhabitants from evil spirits.
Among the most common markings are the double VV engravings which are believed to reference Mary, Virgin of Virgins as is PM – Pace Maria.
Other Markings are believed to be devices for the trapping of ‘evil, these include boxes, diagonal lines and mazes said to confuse said spirits so they cannot escape. The Marks appear to have been added to over time which indicates a need to strengthen the protection, which may have been a response to locals experiencing events of unexpected illness, death or poor crop production. The markings appear to range from the early Medieval period to modern ritual protection marks on a grand scale.
Even as early a s 200 years ago rural Britain was a very different place, disease, death and starvation was commonplace in everyday life, add to that deeply religious so evil could easily be imagined in these largely unexplored Caves cloaked in darkness.
We can only speculate or try to imagine the deep fear the people of the Crags felt as to what may emerge from the darkness.
I could only find one story of a Ghost of the Crags and that was of the ghost Of Mother Grundy.
The story tells of this old woman who was a local of Creswell Village, She was suspected of being a witch and was cast out of the village by her neighbours, and so Mother Grundy set up residence in one of the caves of the crags giving it it’s namesake Mother Grundy’s Parlour.
One day, one of the local village children was playing in the gorge and fell ill after ingesting a poisonous plant. Mother Grundy was quick to help, providing the child with the antidote saving his life. The Villagers, thankful and overjoyed invited Mother Grundy to come back to the village, however, she refused and lived out her days in her cave. Her spirit is said to be just as attached to her cave just as she was in life.
Even though I couldn’t find much In regards to further hauntings at the site, the sheer historical value of the Crags is astounding and thought provoking.
Being at the location, stood by the lake looking up at the vast cliff side you can’t help but wonder what, If any energies are left behind looking right back down at you.
An area of interest here from an investigators PoV Would be the witch markings. This area has been referred to as the Gateway to Hell and the Sheer number of anti-witch markings does make you wonder just what were they trying to keep out … or in!
The area does feel otherworldly in an almost spiritual capacity and you feel connected to the past there.
When we walked around the Crags I personally felt incredibly peaceful but we did hear male voices yet nobody was around. We walked towards the stream, my teammates began down the path. I hesitated and told Chrissie that I didn’t want to go down, she asked me why to which I replied that I didn’t quite know. Chrissie encouraged me down the path….I just stopped, my body felt incredibly Strange and I had a sharp, stabbing pain inside my ear gravitating down my neck. I just wanted out of there and so I started toward the cars with Dave Rising.
Charlene as well as the live viewers seen a flash of light on the path leading to the woods with her own eyes and we caught it on camera. We had wondered if it was a person with a torch or a streetlight but on further inspection nobody was there and there was a path that lead behind but we would have seen if it was anyone with a torch. Directly behind the bush is a stream also. The path that is there, is very dark and it actually leads down into a dip and there is not any street lights in sight. To see it on video it does literally look like a torch light but in person it actually appeared amber and you hear me say this but on footage it appears much brighter.
If you would like to see us further investigate this light source to debunk it here is the video below please view from 1 hour 16mins in.
Amy Amelia Sirdifield