A warm welcome to Buxton’s visitors ... and who exactly is the oldest swinger in Town!?
With it's many festivals and attractions, Buxton is a place buzzing with excitement, especially from the bustle of all its welcome visitors.
Without doubt Buxton has a lot to offer, and during its colourful and unique past Buxton has welcomed an intriguing variety of visitors to its doors.
Just for a moment, imagine if your smart phone had an App that could magically capture ‘selfies’ of you going right back through time. Now go for a quick scroll through your Buxton snaps - who would you be with.... you with the Beetles playing at Pavilion Gardens, you with a group of well dressed but rowdy Georgian guests visiting a new Spa Resort....scroll a bit further...you with Mary Queen of Scots staying at the Old Hall Hotel, and you probably also know that if you could scroll back far enough, you will eventually see yourself having a bath with some Romans enjoying their stay in the Town too.
But one of the lesser known inhabitants of Buxton, and arguably the most significant of them all, are those that settled on the site of Buxton’s Lismore Fields. To see them, you are really going to have scroll your phone a very long way back. (In fact forget that idea – by now your imaginary phone battery is no doubt dead!)
Astonishingly the folks at Lismore Fields were in town about 6000 years ago - that’s the Middle Stone Age, aka the Mesolithic Period. To put that another way that’s 4000 years before the Romans had taken their first bath here, and about a 1000 years before the assembly of Stonehenge’s famous giant stone circle had even caused its first bad back.
The ancient site at Lismore Fields was discovered by chance in the 1980’s, when archaeologists were excavating for a Roman Road. Instead what they discovered is possibly one of the greatest archaeological sites in Britain?
The site provides a fascinating peek into how Stone Age people lived. There are what are believed to be the remains of a Mesolithic timber roundhouse, and suggestions of remarkable things like an early factory style set up for the production of flint implements.
Other important evidence from Lismore Fields shows that Mesolithic people were clearing some inconvenient things out of the way - like forests, by deliberately setting fire to them!
The significance of some of the findings from Lismore Fields is quite profound, For example Lismore Fields is considered to be the place with the earliest record of cereal cultivation ever found in Britain.
Incredibly humans appear to have been active at Lismore Fields continuously from this Mesolithic period. There are yet more astonishing finds from the later Neolithic Period – including 2 longhouses, which have been recognised as two of the best preserved examples of Neolithic longhouses ever discovered in Britain.
However despite all of these incredible discoveries, possibly the most valuable aspect of Lismore Fields,is what could still be there to be discovered by future generations.
With advances in science, future generations are most likely to be able to detect and discover things in ways we don’t understand today. If undisturbed and protected, who knows what breakthroughs could be revealed for the future. Who knows what mysteries could be unlocked of past civilisations and beings?
Lismore Fields is currently designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. To protect it further and increase its recognition World Heritage status surely has to be a worthwhile target?
As part of this journey, this the Lismorefields.com website has been launched to raise awareness of the importance of Lismore Fields, and the quality of its discoveries.
The website's aim is to build on all the hard work and dedication of all the talented people who have gone before, as well as to connect with a new audience discovering the wonders of Lismore Fields for the first time. The ambition of the website is to bring all of this together. To create a central resource of all the known knowledge and specialist personnel and organisations. To make that information accessible and understandable to as many as possible, in order to share the wonder of what has been discovered.
As was once said "nothing is owned, it’s all just borrowed, so look after it for that day when you can proudly pass it on." – Pass it on!
Lismore Fields is yet one more example of the unique things that make Buxton such a great place.