chapter  3
Looking afresh at history
WithPenelope Harnett
Pages 17

At Cheddar Gorge, there is a famous flight of steps called Jacob’s Ladder. If you are feeling energetic you might feel inclined to walk up these 274 steps to the viewpoint above. These 274 steps represent the passage of time since the beginning of the world. As you tread on one step, the guidebook asks you to imagine that one million years has passed by, and at various staging points along the flight, notices explain what is happening in the world all the millions of years ago. As one nears the summit, the guidebook explains that human ancestors are beginning to appear around the tenth step from the top. Half way up the last step, human groups are beginning to arrive in Britain. The width of a sheet of paper placed just beneath the top of the final step marks the arrival of the Romans in Britain.