This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Ash Tree Cave

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Ash Tree Cave

List entry Number: 1017583

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: Bolsover

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Whitwell

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 11-Mar-1991

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 13240

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Palaeolithic caves and rock shelters 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 rock shelters 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 Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire belong to a major regional group of which Ash Tree is an important example due to the depth of the surviving deposit and the stratigraphic continuity demonstrated between the cave deposits and those of the valley floor outside.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

Ash Tree Cave is situated north of Hollin Hill, a few kilometres north- west of Creswell Crags and on the south side of the small dry valley of Burhill Wood. It lies level with the existing valley floor and the small cliffs on either side of the valley are no more than 5m high at any point. The cave itself consists of a relatively large entrance chamber, narrowing into a long, sinuous passage and containing backfill from partial excavations carried out between 1934 and the present. These have produced material from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman periods, but the main significance of the cave lies in the Palaeolithic remains. These include Later Upper Palaeolithic "Creswellian", Earlier Upper Palaeolithic and Middle Palaeolithic artefacts and faunal remains. Some material has yet to be processed from earlier excavations, but it is anticipated that this will add to the Palaeolithic evidence. Remnants of unexcavated deposits survive along the cave walls and substantial remains are still intact underneath tip in the area outside the cave entrance. A considerable depth of deposit outside the cave is indicated by excavation trenches which did not reach bedrock until 6.2m below datum. The monument includes all deposits inside the cave, and outside the cave it includes an area of 6m radius around the mouth of the cave.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Armstrong, A L, Report on the Excavation of Ash Tree Cave near Whitwell, Derby, (1957)
Campbell, J B, The Upper Palaeolithic of Britain, (1977)
Jenkinson, R D S, Creswell Crags: Late Pleistocene Sites in the East Midlands, (1984)
West, S E, Ashtree Cave, Whitwell, (1959)
Other
Anon,, Notes on Excavations, 1960: Ash Tree Cave, Whitwell, Derbyshire, 1961, Pagination 344

National Grid Reference: SK 51485 76144

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1017583 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 25-Apr-2018 at 09:38:00.

End of official listing