Grimes Graves

Useful Information

Location: Near Brandon, at the border between Norfolk and Suffolk. 11km northwest of Thetford off A134. (OS Map 144; ref TL 818898)
Open: MAR Mon, Thu-Sun 10-17. APR to SEP Mon, Thu-Sun 10-18. OCT Mon, Thu-Sun 10-17. [2005]
Fee: Adults GBP 2.60, Children (5-) GBP 1.30, Concession GBP 2, English Heritage Members free, Family GBP 6.50.
Groups (11+): 15% off. [2005]
Classification: MineStone Age Flint mine
Light: electric.
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: Harriet Crawford (1979): Subterranean Britain, Aspects of Underground Archaeology. John Baker, London, 201 pp numerous illus. pp 1-43
S. Piggott (1986): Early British craftsmen, Antiquity LX No 230, Pages=189-192
J. Clutton-Brock (1984): Excavations at Grimes Graves Norfolk 1972-1976 Fascicule 1, Neolithic Antler Picks From Grimes Graves, Norfolk, And Durrington Walls, Wiltshire: A Biometrical Analysis. British Museum Press, ISBN 0-7141-1374-3
I. Longworth, A. Herne, G. Varndell, and S. Needham (1991): Excavations at Grimes Graves Norfolk 1972-1976 Fascicule 3, Shaft X: Bronze Age Flint, Chalk and Metalworking. British Museum Press, ISBN 0-7141-1396-4
Address: Grimes Graves, Tel: +44-1842-810656.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


2600 BC begin of mining.
1800 BC end of mining.
1870 first excavations.
1972 begin of archaeological excavations.
1976 end of archaeological excavations.



Grimes Graves is the only Neolithic flint mine open to visitors in Britain. The Anglo-Saxons named the pits in the ground Grim's Graves, after the pagan god Grim, so it could be translated Devil's Holes. The mines provided the flint to make tools. The mine field has an area of 7.6ha with some 433 pits, 28 pits have been excavated by archaeologists.

Today, visitors can descend 10 meters by ladder into one excavated shaft. This circular pit with a diameter of about 6m has been dug in 1914. It is covered by a concrete raft to protect it from the weather outside. The stone age mines branch off at the floor, about waist high passages which followed a rich layer of flint named floorstone. They were dug with Red Deer antlers as only tools.

A small visitor Centre by the English Heritage has an exhibition which explains the site. Beneath the archaeological origin it also explains the local flora on this huge clearing.