The project is related to slave cave drawings that date back to c. 1750s.
According to new reports, the caves were found during the making of a Black heritage trail of the West Midlands. As a consequence, a group in England known as the Sparkbrook Caribbean and African Women’s Development Initiative (SCAWDI) is now on a mission to protect and research these unique carvings, found in the caves of Guy’s Cliffe House in Warwickshire.
The reports have revealed that the property was once owned by the Greatheed family, who had significant slave owning interests on the Caribbean island of St Kitts during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
It is believed that these carvings were made by enslaved men and women who were brought to work at the property during its extensive renovations. Only by gaining access to them can one begin to understand their history and importance to British heritage…and now St. Kitts’.
Amazingly, whilst the house and gardens of Guy’s Cliffe are Grade II listed, no mention is made of the slaves’ caves drawings. This makes them vulnerable.
It is believed that a local plantation owner brought a gang of slaves to England to remodel his house. The slaves were housed in adjacent caves.
It is thought that some of the slaves were skilled artisans, as they carved their images & faces on the cave walls. These images are still visible today, although in desperate need of restoration & conservation. The caves need full excavation to see what else (images, artefacts, implements etc) can be found & conduct an archaeological dig.
As the now derelict Grade 2 listed mansion is in private ownership without public access, SCAWDI is working with the owners to agree an action plan.
They are now launching a project aimed at rescuing, restoring & conserving these unique caves for the nation, and enable public viewing.
The SCAWDI is therefore proposing to argue strongly for these to be ‘officially recognised’ as being of national significance, and is soliciting the support of people everywhere to support the initiative by signing their petition.
They are also seeking to identify sources of funding urgently, to begin the project.
See their online petition,