You should be able to see the large entrance of Thor’s Cave up on the craggy hillside to the south. There are many other small caves hidden away around here too. Many were excavated at some stage by the Peakland Archaeological Society, under the leadership of Don Bramwell.
When most people think about the work of Don Bramwell they think about science and archaeology. But there was also a creative side to his work – finds and excavations beautifully drawn and coloured, and notebooks full of doodles and sketches.
Below is his drawing of a bear skull found at nearby Elderbush Cave in the 1940s. You can see the precision he gave to these drawings and how invaluable his talent was to aid in the recording of these sites, at a time when it was much harder to get a perfectly clear image from a camera.
His section drawings are similarly well drawn, but not without a sense of humour. This detailed recording of archaeological contexts and the positions of features is complete with its own tiny archaeologist winching buckets of earth to be sorted further down the slope from the cave.
Doodles and sketches also fill the margins of the many notebooks. Bramwell sketched animals whose bones were discovered, the landscape and plants, and yes, more buckets!
This ‘Wonder’ originally appeared on the Buxton Museum blog
For more information on the archaeology of Elderbush Cave see Historical England’s List Entry