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Neolithic stone axe industry in the Lake District

Stone axe industry in the Lakes

We were all taught that the Industrial Revolution started in the cotton mills of the 18th Century.

But the hills and valleys of the Lake District were a centre of Stone Age industry as far back as 4000BC. That's 1500 years before the Egyptians started building their pyramids.

A series of "axe factories" have been discovered over a thirteen mile stretch of the central fells.

The sites have a particular kind of fine-grained volcanic rock.

Examples of stone axes
Stone axes have been found right across Britain

Stones were quarried on the fells and roughed out into a basic shape. Skilled craftsmen would then polish the axe heads to make them sharper and stronger.

Many examples of roughed-out axes have been found around Cumbria, suggesting that the area was a hive of activity.

Polished axe heads have been found all over Britain and possibly in Ireland and Europe.

Archaeologists believe that the people of Neolithic Cumbria were in communication and engaged in trading on a wide-scale.

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