Year 3 Trip to Cheddar Caves

On May 16, 2019

On Thursday 16th May, Year 3 went on an exciting history trip to Cheddar Caves as part of their Prehistory curriculum.  It was a beautiful day on which to visit the limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills where Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton was excavated in 1903.

First, we visited Andy, the ‘Stone Age’ man who demonstrated how Cheddar Man lived 10,000 years ago.  Magically, the children were introduced to ‘mushroom fire’ and given this ‘piece of fire’ to hold and keep alight through gentle blowing. The Stone Age people would often use the smoldering mushrooms to keep the fire at the ready. They would also place them in an animal’s antler and keep them on their person as an early version of a thermal vest or hot water bottle! These mushrooms would keep alight for around 2 hours and were clearly an important and useful tool for Stone Age people. Andy then showed some large pieces of flint which were imported from Europe and were used as cutting tools and for making weapons.  The children were excited to dress in furs/hats as Stone Age children would have done.

We toured the Museum where the children tried their hand at Stone Age cave art and saw how Cheddar Man’s skeleton was discovered and unearthed by the Gough brothers.

Following a hearty lunch, the children were given an informative briefing about the history of the caves and their variety of large chambers and rock formations.  They explored the caves, spotting stalactites and stalagmites.  Of particular interest were the truckles of Cheddar Cheese which are housed in the cave; providing the perfect humidity and temperature conditions.  A super day was had by all.

Quotes of the day: “I loved holding the tools and dressing up like a cave person.”  – Scarlet

“My favorite part was looking at the skulls through the magnifying glass.” – Sayan

“I thought Cheddar man was interesting and a bit scary.” – Jack