Ancient works of art from the Great Orme
Thomas Kendrick was a copper miner turned lapidary, an artisan who creates decorative jewellery from gemstones and minerals. While extending his workshop in 1879, Kendrick unearthed human and animal remains within a cave on the Great Orme. They turned out to be some of the most significant archaeological finds ever discovered in this country, and include what is considered to be the oldest piece of art ever found in Britain – an engraved fragment of horse jaw that has been dated between 10,000 and 11,000 BC.
This artefact, together with bones of badger, bear, boar, goat and bison, was discovered alongside the remains of four human skeletons, all of which date to the same period. Polished stone axes and knives were also found at the site; many of them are now in the British Museum, together with the engraved fragment of horse jaw. Most of the other finds from the site may be seen at Llandudno Museum.
The finds were clearly some kind of ritualistic offering, and it is thought that, rather than being lived in, Kendrick's Cave was a sacred space in ancient times. It is also widely believed that the cave still contains more artefacts yet to be discovered.
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Good Walks Nearby
- Family Walk
Road to summit of Great Orme
Llanduno - 1/2 mile
Bus stop on Gloddaeth Avenue
Currently no public access
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 780828
OS Landranger map sheet: OS 115
- Kendrick's Cave