« הקודםהמשך »
higher than merely local value. Bray's Tour in Derbyshire, etc. (1778), and Pilkington's Present State of Derbyshire (1789), share with the early volumes of Archæologia in containing the first published accounts of many of the chief prehistoric remains of the county. Lysons' Magna Britannia, vol. vi (1817), and Glover's History of Derbyshire (1833), are replete with the subject, so far as it was known in the earlier part of the present century. Bateman's Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire (1848), and Ten Years' Diggings (1861), are mainly records of the indefatigable investigations of the late William and Thomas Bateman, F.S.A., Samuel Carrington, and others, among the British, Roman, and Saxon remains of the county and the adjacent parts of Staffordshire. Similarly, Barrows and Bone Caves of Derbyshire (1877) records the investigations of the late Mr. Rooke Pennington, in the Peak; and Turner's Archeological Discoveries of Mr. Micah Salt, now about to be issued, promises to be a valuable addition to the antiquarian literature of the county. The Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, the Journals of the Royal Archæological Institute, the British Archæological Association, and the Geological Society, contain many papers relating to this county; and of still greater value is the Reliquary, from the circumstance that it is published at Derby, and up to 1890 was edited by Derbyshire antiquaries. The Derbyshire Archæological and Natural History Society, since its foundation in 1878, has issued an annual journal; and much information may also be culled from the Notts. and Derbyshire Notes and Queries: a useful periodical which commenced in 1892, and has recently come to an untimely end. The ecclesiology is exhaustively treated by the Rev. J. C. Cox, L.L.D., in Notes of the Churches of Derbyshire, a work unsurpassed of its kind, and from which I shall draw most of my information about the ecclesiastical remains of the county. Besides these, there are a number of works of more restricted range, some of which will be noted as we proceed.
Human time in Derbyshire, as elsewhere in the west of Europe, falls into two well-defined æons, which correspond with the Pleistocene, and the post-Pleistocene or Recent, eras of the geologist. These eras were unlike one another in several important particulars. The Pleistocene climate oscillated between the extremes of Arctic coldness and sub-tropical heat, and these oscillations were associated with corresponding changes in the fauna and flora. Forms now confined to more northern, and others to more southern latitudes, replaced one another with comparative rapidity; while some remarkable mammals have become extinct. The configuration of the land surface also underwent great changes, chiefly through glacial action. The Recent period, on the other hand, represents a course of time during which the present conditions as to climate, surface, and life have undergone but little change. Although approximately recent time to the geologist, it nevertheless is of such long duration as to include all prehistoric time from the Neolithic to the early Iron Ages, and all subsequent historic time.
1.—THE PLEISTOCENE ERA. The Pleistocene deposits of Derbyshire are comparatively meagre. Glacial drift occurs as small patches in Peakland hollows, and as a discontinuous veneer in the southern parts of the county. River gravels and terraces also occur; but the only Pleistocene deposits which have yielded remains of man and his handiwork are those which occur as “ fox-earths,” stalagmites, and breccias in the caverns and fissures. Considering how numerous these natural cavities are in the Peak, it must be admitted that the recorded instances of such discoveries are very few indeed; probably because only a few of the caves have had their floors scientifically examined. If, however, the yield is small numerically, it is of great intrinsic importance.
Three small caves—the Pin, Church, and Robin Hood Holes-at Cresswell, on the north-east border of the county, have yielded results unsurpassed by any other English cave, except the famous Kent's Hole at Torquay. The discovery that these caves contained relics of the past was made by the Rev. Magens Mello, F.G.S., about twenty years ago ; and this led to their systematic excavation by
that gentleman, aided by Professor Boyd Dawkins, F.R.S., and the late Mr. T. Heath, of Derby, in 1875 and 1876. Reports of this work were published in the Journal of the Geological Society for those years ; also in the Derbyshire Archæological and Natural History Society's Journal for 1878, in Barrows and Bone Caves of Derbyshire, and in a brochure by Mr. Heath, An Abstract Description and History of the Bone Caves of Creswell Crags. Not only did the investigation prove beyond a doubt the coexistence of man with the great extinct mammals of the Pleistocene, but it proved also that that era was of immense duration, with clearly-marked periods, during which there “were successive races of men exhibiting a progressive civilisation.” The implements of the lowest bed (the deposits of the three caves were practically identical) were of the “ rudest possible construction' quartzite pebbles which had been used, without any preparation, as hammers, crushers, and pot-boilers, or rudely chipped, so as to enable them to be more easily handled ; or the flakes therefrom adapted, by a little additional chipping, for use as scrapers, knives, or hatchets. In the higher beds, quartzite was replaced by flint for implements, fabricated into simple forms at first, then more complex as the topmost beds were reached—“ wellmade lance-heads, chipped on both faces,” and “delicatelymade borers and scrapers.'
With these occurred bone needles, pins, awls, and arrow-heads, such as have been found in Kent's Cavern and in Continental caves. But the most remarkable object was the sketch of an unmistakeable Pleistocene horse on a piece of flat bone“the first trace of pictorial art yet discovered in Great Britain.” Similar sketches have been found in deposits of the same era in Switzerland and Aquitaine; and this Derbyshire specimen, taken in connection with the general character of the implements with which it was associated, “affords the clearest proof that the hunters of Southern France and Switzerland had found their way along the great eastern valley now covered with the waters of the German Ocean, and wandered as far north as the borders of Yorkshire.”
The other Pleistocene discoveries of the county do not strictly come within our range, as they have not been associated with traces of man. But I cannot pass without notice a remarkable find of bones of the bison, reindeer, and other Pleistocene animals, at Windy Knoll, near Castleton, as it well illustrates the immense lapse of time between their day and the present. The deposit containing these bones was in a limestone fissure, which proved, in the course of its excavation by the late Mr. Rooke Pennington, Prof. Boyd Dawkins, and Mr. J. Tym, in 1874-6, to be an ancient “ water-swallow" or opening, through which water disappeared into a subterranean channel. The animals represented by these bones had resorted to the “swallow” to drink, and were either swamped or drowned there. As Windy Knoll is now an elevated neck of land, it is an impossible position for an active "water-swallow”; so it is clear that since these animals met their fate the surface-configuration of the district has undergone a great change, in which a place in a valley-bottom where water was engulphed has been transformed into a lofty ridge.
The following is a list of the Pleistocene mammals whose remains have hitherto been found in this county :
II.- THE POST-PLEISTOCENE ERA.
Wherever Pleistocene and post-Pleistocene (or Recent) deposits occur together in Britain, there is, apparently always, a sharp line of demarcation between them, representing probably the last glaciation of the great Ice Age. This break is not repeated in later times. With the return of the temperate climate which we still enjoy, came the existing fauna and Aora. Human culture has advanced to its present position with an unbroken progression. The periods – Neolithic, Bronze, and Early Iron-into which the prehistoric portion of post-Pleistocene time is usually divided must not be regarded as sharply defined from one another, nor even in any given locality, as necessarily consecutive. These terms represent stages in an evolution. From the first, post-Pleistocene man appears on the scene as a herdsman : hence this era may be described as that of the Domesticated Animals.
The Derbyshire remains of the pre- and sub-historical portions of this “ Era of the Domestic Animals” consist in the main of barrows and other sepulchral remains, of which the county possesses an unusual wealth. It is impossible to estimate the number of these vestiges; but excluding the Anglo-Saxon cemeteries for the present, the number of barrows which have been opened in the interests of science in Derbyshire and the adjacent parts of North Staffordshire (which may be regarded as an extension of the Peak country) can hardly be less than four hundred ; and the number of their separate interments, whether of one individual or of several buried together, may be set down as seven hundred. Of these barrows, six contain megalithic chambers, such as are with general consent attributed to the Neolithic stage of culture ; tbree hundred may be classed as pre-Roman British ; and the residue must be assigned to RomanoBritish and post-Roman times, ending with the conversion of the English tribes to Christianity.
Chambered Barrows.-At Mininglow (two) and Harborough Rocks near Brassington, Bole Hill near Bakewell, Ringham Low near Moneyash, and Five Wells near Taddington, are the remains of barrows containing megalithic chambers; all of these, with the exception of that at the Harborough Rocks (which was opened by the writer), were examined by the Batemans, but were found to have been previously rifled. Still it is possible to reconstruct the type to which most, if not all, of them