The Archaeology of Buxton

On Saturday 26 July, one of our intrepid volunteers, Ian Gregory, joined a group on a walking tour of Buxton, exploring the town’s archaeology. The tour was led by Dr Catherine Parker Heath who specialises in educating people about archaeology. You can find out more about her work at her website Enrichment Through Archaeology. It’s over to you, Ian:

On Saturday 27 July, I joined a guided walk around Buxton which was organised by the Museum and Art Gallery. Our guide started by explaining how the museum itself had changed functions, having been built as a hotel in 1880 and becoming a museum in 1928.

Collection of Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

Collection of Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

Our party included several children, who were encouraged to look at buildings for signs of aging, differences in styles and signs of changes in use. They were asked to imagine what sounds from contemporary life would already have been in the air during the Neolithic era. At the end of our walk, the children dressed up as Roman-Britons and enacted a scene where news of a Saxon invasion arrived in Buxton.

Our guide paused at Lismore Fields, the site of one of the few Neolithic settlements to have been excavated in Britain. She distributed stone tools from the period amongst our group, also pictures of reconstructions of life 6,000 years ago. We also walked around the Pavilion Gardens where we learned when buildings like the Octagon and Opera House were constructed.

After two hours, our walk came to an end on The Slopes. Strangers to Buxton had been given a good introduction to the town, while local people had been stimulated to look at familiar things from a fresh perspective.

Catherine Parker Heath

 

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