Fox Hole Cave
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Oct-2021 at 23:26:59.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)
- Hartington Middle Quarter
- National Park:
- PEAK DISTRICT
- National Grid Reference:
- SK 09975 66179
Reasons for Designation
Palaeolithic caves and rockshelters provide some of the earliest evidence of human activity in the period from about 400,000 to 10,000 years ago. The sites, all natural topographic features, occur mainly in hard limestone in the North and West of the country, although examples also exist in the softer rocks of South-East England. Evidence for human occupation is often located near the cave entrances, close to the rock walls or on the exterior platforms. The interiors sometimes served as special areas for disposal and storage or were places where material naturally accumulated from the outside. Because of the special conditions of deposition and preservation, organic and other fragile materials often survive well and in stratigraphic association. Caves and rockshelters are therefore of major importance for understanding this period. Due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all examples with good survival of deposits, are considered to be nationally important. The Palaeolithic caves of Derbyshire form an important regional grouping of which Fox Hole Cave is a significant example owing to the well- preserved organic artefacts and the survival of in situ deposits. It is also one of the few northern sites where human activity can be directly dated to the Late Glacial interstadial.
Fox Hole Cave is situated on the steep north slope of High Wheeldon
Hill, less than 30m below the summit and approximately 100m above the
current valley floor. The cave consists of a passage opening out into
several chambers (Entrance, First and Main), and a second deeper series
including the Bear Chamber. The entrance passage and upper chamber are
the main areas of archaeological interest. A number of partial
excavations, carried out between 1928 and the early 1980s, have produced
Mesolithic, Neolithic, Beaker, Bronze Age and Roman material, but it is
the cave's Palaeolithic context that makes it of particular interest.
Later Upper Palaeolithic artefacts of flint and antler have been found
in association with charcoal, denoting a hearth, and bones of horse and
red deer, split and therefore indicative of human activity. Two recent
radiocarbon dates of c.12000BP (Before Present) have been obtained from
antler spearpoints from the cave.
The monument includes all the deposits within the cave, and includes the
flat area outside the cave entrance.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Bramwell, D, Excavations at Foxhole Cave, High Wheeldon, 1961-70, (1971)
Campbell, J B, The Upper Palaeolithic of Britain, (1977)
Ford, T D, Gill, D W, Caves of Derbyshire, (1984)
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing