Something VERY big is happening at Wollaton Hall... In 2017, the iconic house and park will be getting a Jurassic makeover as fossils and specimens never seen outside of Asia will be brought to the city – including the world’s largest feathered dinosaur, the Gigantoraptor.
To help you imagine the Earth as our giant predecessors knew it, rediscover the prehistoric landscape and monuments that have stood the test of time in Nottinghamshire
Creswell Crags is probably Nottinghamshire’s best known prehistoric area. Part of the Creswell Heritage Landscape Area, the limestone gorge is honeycombed with caves and smaller fissures which have preserved relics from ancient ancestors’ lives between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago.
In 2003, Britain’s only known Ice Age rock art was discovered on the site. The engravings of animals, birds and motifs are 13,000 years old, making Church Hole Cave the oldest art gallery in the country. You can take Rock Art and Ice Age tours of the caves and there is a shop and cafe in the RIBA award-winning visitors centre. Over ground, the impressive gorge and lake also make for a scenic walking and cycling area.
Pollen sampling cores have put Sherwood Forest’s origins at the end of the Ice Age and flint tools have been discovered in the area thought to have been used by prehistoric hunter-gatherers. Nottinghamshire’s recorded history began 1000 years ago with the arrival of Viking King Canute, when Sherwood Forest would have covered around quarter of the county.
This mineral gallery at Wollaton Hall showcases some of the 5,000 specimens that make up the museums geology collection. It includes some the original Nottingham Naturalists’ Society collection and fine displays of classic minerals from the North of England, as well as some fossilised shells of ancient giant ammonites.
The Three Stones of Nottinghamshire
Just outside of Bramcote Hills Country Park you’ll find the Hemlock Stone, a striking 28ft Sandstone pillar, dating back 200 million years. Legend had it that the Hemlock Stone landed on Stapleford Hill after being hurled by Devil. The rock is currently undergoing tests by the University of Nottingham to determine whether it was formed by human hands or natural processes.
Bob’s Rock in Stapleford is a large sandstone outcrop which gives fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding area. The stone is also thought to be a preaching site of the founder of the Methodist religious movement, John Welsey.
The Druid stone in Blidworth, North Nottinghamshire is a naturally formed, 14ft glacial gravel structure. The stone is known for its distinctive hollow centre, big enough for a person to walk through and it is believed to be linked to pagan worship around 1800 – 1700 BC.