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10 May 2009
New visitor centre opens at Creswell Crags

It may have been around for millions of years, but Creswell Crags (on the border between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, England) has often remained something of a mystery to generations of local people. But all that has changed, thanks to a £14 million investment in the site to make it more visitor-friendly than it has ever been before.
     Around £4.5 million of the cash has paid for a brand new on-site museum and education centre - a magnificent building created to help people to take a look at and even change their established view of prehistory in the UK. And now, with the building work completed the move into the new premises has finally begun.
     "Lack of investment and modernisation at the original visitor centre had severely limited its ability to live up to its reputation as one of Britain's top heritage sites," site manager Nigel Mills said. "Over a period of time, the new museum will be displaying some of the most exciting Ice Age artefacts ever found locally," said the site's heritage officer Rebecca Clay. "And our major partner, the British Museum, will be loaning other artefacts for display as part of a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions." The first one features an animal rib engraved with a horse's head, which was discovered during the 1870s - the first example of Ice Age art ever found in Britain.
     The project to improve conservation and management issues at Creswell Crags got under way around 10 years ago. It entailed several aspects such as removing, landscaping and re-locating to create an events space, an outdoor classroom, an interpretation point and picnic areas plus major improvements to both access and facilites. Other improvements include the relocation of the B6042 road and the restoration of the valley with the support of Derbyshire County Council, Lafarge Aggregates and the East Midlands Development Agency and improvements to the main caves including, a protective roof to the Arch Cave, new steps to Pin Hole and Church Hole Caves as well as a brand new interior viewing platform and new steps to the Robin Hood Cave.

Source: Worksop Guardian (8 May 2009)

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