Ancient Monuments

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Langwith Cave

A Scheduled Monument in Langwith, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.22 / 53°13'12"N

Longitude: -1.2256 / 1°13'32"W

OS Eastings: 451801.821762

OS Northings: 369498.406007

OS Grid: SK518694

Mapcode National: GBR 8DC.2Y8

Mapcode Global: WHDFL.4BM9

Entry Name: Langwith Cave

Scheduled Date: 20 May 1936

Last Amended: 11 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011954

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13239

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Langwith

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Upper Langwith Holy Cross

Church of England Diocese: Derby


Langwith Cave is situated on the north side of the Poulter Valley, some
6m above the valley floor and no more than two metres below the road above.
It consists of a small circular chamber measuring c.7m x c.6m with a number of
passages leading off. Two of these, to the west and north, connect with the
surface. The cave has produced Neolithic material, in the form of a human
burial and a small fragment of an infants skull, but its main significance
lies in the Later Upper Palaeolithic remains. Partial excavations carried out
between 1903 and 1912 by E.H. Mullins, and in 1927 by D.A.E. Garrod, have
revealed numerous flint artefacts from the lowest horizon within the cave,
including curved-back and angle-back points. In addition bones of cold
climate fauna, including reindeer and woolly rhinoceros, were recovered
and there is structural evidence from the lowest horizon within the cave
in the form of several hearths. Unexcavated portions remain inside the
cave, towards the back of the south-west passages, and significant quantities
of material are anticipated to survive in the lower of the two western
passages. The important lowest horizon is known to have extended well outside
the cave where substantial talus deposits have been left largely undisturbed
by excavation.
The monument includes all the deposits of the interior of the cave and
outside the cave includes an area of 6m radius around the mouth of the cave.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 the monument at Langwith is an important
example due to the survival of extensive deposits both inside and
outside the cave.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Campbell, J B, The Upper Palaeolithic of Britain, (1977)
Ford, T D, Gill, D W, Caves of Derbyshire, (1984)
Jenkinson, R D S, Creswell Crags: Late Pleistocene Sites in the East Midlands, (1984)
Mullins, E H, The Ossiferous Cave at Langwith, (1913)
Copy, Creswell Crags Visitor Centre, Garrod, D A E, Report of Excavs at Langwith Cave, Derbyshire, April 1927, (1927)

Source: Historic England

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