Grime’s Graves: Young People’s Guide

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1964

The neolithic mines at Grime’s Graves are in the care of English Heritage. Barbara Green prepared the Young People’s Guide to Grime’s Graves (1964), in parallel to the souvenir guide to the site. The cover is by Alan Sorrell, and the guide was printed by Brown Knight & Truscott Ltd., London and Tonbridge.

The guide poses a two questions before addressing wider questions:

  • why were the mines dug?
  • what was the flint used for?
  • mining at Grime’s Graves
  • Exploring the mines (‘… it is often necessary to wriggle on one’s stomach’).

There is little in the text to make it more accessible for the younger visitor.

Inside the cover is a note: ‘Visitors wishing to crawl along the galleries are advised to wear old clothes and take an electric torch’. Those galleries are now closed to the public.

My copy was a handwritten note of the opening times on the back cover. The site was open until 7.00 pm from May to September (5.30 pm, March, April, October; 4.00 pm, November – February).

Grime’s Graves: Canon Greenwell’s Pit to open

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Canon Greenwell’s Pit, Grime’s Graves © David Gill

English Heritage has announced that it will opening up Canon Greenwell’s Pit at Grime’s Graves. A short video is available from the BBC (“Neolithic flint mine to open to public for the first time“, BBC News 11 March 2017). Access will be by guided tour. Pit 1 will continue to be open.

Canon William Greenwell (1820-1918) excavated at Grime’s Graves in 1868, following earlier work at the flint mines at Cissbury in Sussex.

Carreg Coetan Arthur Burial Chamber

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Carreg Coetan Arthur © David Gill

The burial chamber of Carreg Coetan Arthur lies on the east side of Newport in Pembrokeshire. The monument is in the care of Cadw. It was excavated in 1979 and 1980.

A Cadw guide was prepared by J.B. Hilling (1992). This is omitted from the earlier list of Cadw guides to burial chambers in Wales.

Guidebooks for Skara Brae

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1983

I have noted before the official guidebook for Skara Brae on Orkney. The original edition by V. Gordon Childe dated to 1933, and the guide was revised in 1983 (D.V. Clarke with [the late] V. Gordon Childe). This 1983 edition was fully illustrated (in black and white), with sections on The site revealed; the best in northern Europe; the village and its inhabitants; a guided tour. This guide was published by HMSO.

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2012

David Clarke is the author of the Historic Scotland guide (2012). This is fully illustrated, in colour, and includes plans and reconstructions. There are three main sections: guided tour; life at Skara Brae; understanding Skara Brae. The guide includes a section on the local wildlife.

Trethevy Quoit

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Trethevy Quoit © David Gill

The neolithic burial chamber of Trethevy Quoit in Cornwall was given to the nation in November 1931. It is now in the care of English Heritage and is managed by the Cornwall Heritage Trust.

For other prehistoric sites in the care of English Heritage see here.

World’s First Twinned Archaeological Sites

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Grime’s Graves © David Gill

Last night (14 July 2016) we attended a ceremony to celebrate the World’s First Twinned Archaeological Sites: Grime’s Graves in Norfolk and the Hoshikuso Obsidian Mines in Japan. There was a warm welcome from the Mayor of Thetford.

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Grime’s Graves © David Gill

We were given a tour of one of the pits, and then a walk round part of the site to Canon Greenwell’s Pit (not open to the public).

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Grime’s Graves, Canon Greenwell’s Pit © David Gill

This was followed by speeches, and a signing ceremony between the two archaeological sites.

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Grime’s Graves © David Gill

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Grime’s Graves © David Gill

The party of Obsidian Ambassadors then sang to us, followed by further music suited to a perfect summer evening.

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Grime’s Graves © David Gill