Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Lost art treasures



I finally managed to retreive some film that had been jammed in my old camera and got the pics developed. I’d forgotten what was on it and was pleasantly surprised by the photos I found.

This one is of a very special place indeed, Creswell Crags on the border between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. We’ve been a few times and enjoyed every visit. As you can see from the picture, it’s a rather beautiful place but it hides extraordinary secrets. For thousands of years the caves on either side of the gorge were used by early man. Hundreds of artefacts and remains have been found but in 2003 something even more astounding was found.

13,000 years ago, this was the place for artists to hang out and work.

Yes, honestly. In 2003, a discovery was made that shook the world of archaeology and anthropology. Until then, it was thought that the earliest European cave art was to be found in the caves of Lascaux and others in France. Creswell Crags is the site of not cave paintings but engravings and relief work. These were probably painted as well; traces of ochre and other ancient paint pigments have been found in the art.

In 2006, there were limited tours being offered of the caves where the art was found. Needless to say, we went and marvelled. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end at the sight of a carving of a sleeping bear, of a horse, a reindeer and others. Sadly, the light was too poor to take photos and I’d recommend having a look around the offical site, to have a look at both the art and the history.


April 28, 2009 - Posted by | Art, culture, painting, personal, photo, Viv's Art | , , , ,


  1. This sounds very cool! I tried to take a look at their website’s virtual tour, but I don’t think I have the right things loaded on my computer to see the images. Oh well…I will try again when I have more patience 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this Viv!

    Comment by shelleymhouse | April 28, 2009

  2. What a shame, Shelley. It’s worth it, but having done the “real tour” well, that’s even better.
    Another bit of history: the place where I live is the oldest known site of human habitation in the whole of Northern Europe. About two years back they found stone tools and animal bones dating from 700,000 years ago, the time of homo erectus or heidlebergensis, at the south end of the town, in the district of Pakefield. Every time I walk the beaches here, I look out for more…

    Comment by viv66 | April 28, 2009

  3. Oh wow. This is so serene, so serene. I kind of have a fear of large bodies of water; sometimes images of them can rattle me (yes, even crisp beach scenes like this one).

    But this picture sure doesn’t have the same effect. I especially like the way the water looks to be calm in some places but rippling in others. I also like how the foliage and land’ reflection appears to be its own concoction–as in, the reflection isn’t just the “mirror image” of the land.

    Comment by sittingpugs | April 30, 2009

  4. Pugs, it is a very serene place, very serene indeed, even when infested with archaeologists! The lake here is quite shallow and is actually an artifical lake, made by blocking entry and exit of the stream that has cut the groove through the landscape over millenia.
    The caves are wonderful too, cool on a hot day and with a feeling of intense peace. I guess it’s been a safe haven for people for tens of thousands of years; maybe this is why it looks and feels serene.
    Thank you for your kind comments!

    Comment by viv66 | April 30, 2009

  5. I want to go and wander the caves as well as quietly drift along the shores with camera in hand. It would be a good idea to bring a good light in order to take interior photos. You were fortunate to have been able to go indeed. The photo captures the sense of age and hidden mysteries. Thanks, Viv.

    Comment by retiredeagle | May 1, 2009

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