Refugium is a site specific landscape composition created by Jon Hughes, Ben Elliott and Mark Edmonds, which uses sound to explore the history of Creswell Crags. It will be performed within the Creswell Gorge on Saturday 26th August 2017.

Attendance of this event is absolutely free, and we would welcome as many people along as wish to join us. No tickets needed or registration required, just meet us in the visitor’s Centre at Creswell Crags at 17.30.

If you wish to travel down from York to Creswell, we will be providing a free coach service. However, spaces for this are limited and you will need to let us know in advance so that we can make sure we don’t overbook. You can book a free ticket on the coach through our EventBrite page:



Panel 1


Refugium represents the culmination of a two-year, collaborative research project between the departments of Music and Archaeology at the University of York. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and in partnership with the British Library and Creswell Heritage Trust, this project has taken the idea of sound in the history of Creswell Crags as both a focus of analysis and the primary form of discourse.

Other outputs of the project include a temporary sound installation within the Creswell Crags Visitors Centre,and an online archive of sound recordings which relate to the past acoustic ecologies represented in Creswell’s unique archaeological, historical and palaeoenvironmental records.

SoundTracks are:

Jon Hughes – Composer and Sound Artist

Ben Elliott – Early Prehistorian

Mark Edmonds – Landscape Archaeologist

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Getting to Creswell Crags

Coach from York

We will be organising a free coach service from York to Creswell Crags on the day of the performance. This will depart from York (Lawrence St Working Men’s Club) at 12.00 on Saturday 26th (arriving at Creswell c.14.00) and depart Creswell at 20.30 (arriving in York at c.22.30).

If you wish to travel on the coach, you will need to book a seat via our EventBite page. Spaces are limited so we advise that this is done in advance to avoid disappointment.


By Car

If you are using SatNav, please be aware that most devices do not direct people to the centre accurately. Please use the postcode S80 3LH and then follow signs when in the vicinity.

By train

Creswell Crags is about a mile walk from the local railway station of Creswell. The Robin Hood line stops at Creswell about once an hour, however the Sunday service is limited. On exiting the station, turn left onto Elmton Road. At the junction turn right and at the mini-roundabout turn left. Then bear right towards Crags Cottages to walk up through the gorge and avoid the main road.

By bus

The number 77 bus route runs from Worksop to Chesterfield and drops off on Elmton Road. Walk along Elmton Road in the direction of the old school buildings and at the junction turn right. Turn left at the mini-roundabout and bear right up past Crags Cottages to walk up through the gorge and avoid the main road.

Panel 3

What’s happening at Creswell Crags on the 26th of August?

On the 26th of August 2017, Refugium will fill the Creswell Gorge with sound.

Some of these will be the sounds of birds and animals who once lived here when the climate and environment was very different. At times you might get a feel of what Creswell Crags sounded like in the past. Some of these sounds will be of the birds and animals which live in the Gorge today.

Some of these sounds will be the voices of people who live in and around the area today. Some of these sounds will be the sounds associated with activities carried out by humans in Creswell’s past; people making fire, people working stone, people carving animals in limestone, people butchering meat, eating, laughing, crying, shouting, and whispering.

Some of these sounds will be songs; choral music sung by the Stonegate Singers Community Choir, who will be performing songs inspired by the Creswell Gorge.

Some of these sounds will be played on instruments, by musicians inspired by the story of the Creswell Crags and the archaeology of its caves.

These sounds will come from the caves themselves, and an arrangement of outdoor speakers at the West End of the Creswell Gorge. These speakers will create an 3D, surround-sound environment which will bring the sounds of Creswell Crags together in an immersive piece of music composed by Jon Hughes which explores the story of Creswell Crags.

At 17.30 on Saturday 26th of August, we will meet at the Creswell Crags visitors centre, and walk down into the Gorge to explore these strange and familiar sounds together.