Published date: May 2020
Grime’s Graves is situated 7 miles north-west of Thetford in Norfolk, off the A134 and is the only Neolithic flint mine open to visitors in Britain. The mysterious lunar-like landscape of Grime’s Graves is what is left after hundreds of years of activity by Neolithic flint miners. Around 4,500 years ago, about the time many of the stones at Stonehenge were first raised, miners dug more than 400 pits here to obtain the fine quality, jet-black flint to fashion tools, ceremonial objects and weapons and today Grime’s Graves is one of only ten known prehistoric flint mines in England.
First named Grime’s Graves by the Anglo-Saxons, it wasn’t until one of them was excavated in 1870 that they were identified as flint mines dug over 5,000 years ago. Visitors to Grime’s Grave can see a small exhibition area which illustrates the history of this fascinating site and includes information about Neolithic mining, a virtual tour of the mines and landscape, and touchable reproduction Neolithic tools. Visitors can also descend 9 metres by ladder into one excavated shaft to see the jet-black flint that was mined thousands of years ago. Please note that children under 10 years of age are not permitted to enter the mine shaft and visitors should wear sensible flat shoes.
Set amongst the distinctive Breckland heath landscape in an area covering 96 acres, Grime’s Graves is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is home to many rare plants and animals. Between April and July the flowers here are particularly attractive and wildlife includes butterflies, rabbits, fox, deer and many birds, including birds of prey.
The site has lots of space to run around and is an ideal spot for a day outdoors, with picnic tables and benches, a shop, toilets and free car park.
To find out more about Grime’s Graves, including opening times, admission costs and more about the prehistoric flint mine’s history, please go to the English Heritage website detailed below.
Grime’s Graves Prehistoric Flint Mine, Lynford, Thetford, Norfolk, IP26 5DE