VI. Ice Everlasting: The Ice Age


Erratic boulders in the Pass of Llanberis in Wales, from Andrew Ramsay, The Old Glaciers of Switzerland and North Wales, 1860 (item 54).

Although the British were introduced in 1840 to the idea that ice might one have covered their island territory, the notion of an Ice Age was still rather fanciful to most people. 

However, two interesting things happened in the decade of the 1850s that may be connected.  First of all, the British rediscovered the Alps.  Mountaineering as a sport began in earnest, the Alpine Club of London was founded, and most of the major peaks in the Alps were climbed.  So the British became reacquainted with Alpine glaciers. Second, a few individuals began to envision the former landscape of Great Britain as one marked by glaciers.

We begin to get our first images of prehistoric times in which glaciers make their presence felt.   The idea of an Ice Age has started to take hold.





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