Ancient Monuments

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Dead Man's Cave, Anston

A Scheduled Monument in North and South Anston, Rotherham

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Latitude: 53.346 / 53°20'45"N

Longitude: -1.2089 / 1°12'32"W

OS Eastings: 452761.110815

OS Northings: 383529.388974

OS Grid: SK527835

Mapcode National: GBR NY0R.28

Mapcode Global: WHDF0.D5K6

Entry Name: Dead Man's Cave, Anston

Scheduled Date: 7 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013468

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13251

County: Rotherham

Civil Parish: North and South Anston

Built-Up Area: Dinnington

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Anston St James

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


Dead Man's Cave is situated on the north side of a shallow gorge, lying above
Anston Brook and the Brantcliffe-Dinnington railway line and just below the
plateau. It consists of an entrance fissure, 2.5m wide and 1.5m high, leading
via a narrow passage to a chamber 4.5m long by 3m wide. The chamber contains
limestone blocks from roof fall. A narrow platform 3m wide exists outside the
entrance of the cave. Partial excavations carried out between 1967 and
c.1970 have revealed Roman artefacts and also material dating from the Later
Upper Palaeolithic. The latter comprises 21 lithic artefacts, including
points and straight backed pieces, and fragments of reindeer bone and antler
that have been radiocarbon dated to c.9850 years ago and may be associated
with the occupation evidence. Additional material is expected to survive
beneath the stalagmitic floor at the rear of the cave and also on the entrance
platform. Remnants of deposit also survive along the cave walls. The
scheduling includes the cave and the deposits from the back chamber to the
entrance and extending in a c.3m arc around the cave mouth.

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 South Yorkshire form a small but significant
regional group of which Dead Man's Cave is an important example owing to the
survival of rare organic material and in situ deposits.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Jenkinson, R D S, Creswell Crags: Late Pleistocene Sites in the East Midlands, (1984)
Barker, H, Burleigh, R, Meeks, N, 'Radiocarbon' in British Museum Natural Radiocarbon Measurements, , Vol. 13, (1971), 157-88
Jenkinson, R D S, 'The Archaeology of Northern Britain' in A Reappraisal of the Later UP Occupation of Dead Man's Cave, ()

Source: Historic England

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