Ancient art gets £1.5m boost

Stock Pic - Creswell Crags Visitors centre
Stock Pic - Creswell Crags Visitors centre

The oldest rock art in Britain has received a £1.5 million windfall to bring it back to life.

Engravings on the walls at Creswell Crags date back around 14,000 years and are regarded as the only Ice Age rock art in the UK.

The ancient links between people and their surroundings will be explored in ‘First Art,’ a new project funded by the Arts Council.

First Art will take the shape of a programme of major arts events and renowned artists, charting the lives of the surrounding communities as a result of their relationship with the landscape.

Arts Council director Peter Knott said: “We were impressed by the innovative and engaging vision of this project.”

“The range of artistic opportunities they are suggesting show they have a real understanding of getting great art to people who otherwise might not think to take part.”

The funding allocated to the project will see be spread over three years, and aims to give communities a voice by engaging them with their artistic heritage. The investment in one of Bassetlaw’s most visited tourist attractions will also prove a boost to the whole region.

Ian Wall, Director of Creswell Heritage Trust, said: “The First Art project will bring a huge and much needed boost to arts engagement across this area. “We are all really pleased that the Arts Council is able to support this innovative and ambitious programme.”

Creswell Crags is a limestone gorge, containing Ice Age remnants of tools and animals alongsidethe early cave engravings. The complex includes a museum and visitors’ centre, country park and nature reserve in addition to the honeycomb of caves.

Creswell Crags is open every day from 10am-5.30pm. For more information visit or call 01909 720378.