Stig of the Dump

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Stig of the Dump
Stig Dump.JPG
First edition
Author Clive King
Illustrator Edward Ardizzone
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Fantasy adventure
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication date
1 June 1963
Media type Print (Paperback)
Audiobook (read by Martin Jarvis)
Audiobook (read by Tony Robinson
Pages 157 pp
ISBN 978-0-14-034724-1

Stig of the Dump is a children's novel by Clive King, first published in the United Kingdom in 1963. It is regarded as a modern children's classic and is often read in schools.[1] It was illustrated by Edward Ardizzone and has been twice adapted for television, in 1981 and in 2002. It was first broadcast as an adaptation on BBC Home Service for schools in November 1964, and later on the BBC series Blue Peter.


Barney is a young boy staying with his grandparents on the chalk Downs of southern England. He is the main character of the book and when he falls over the edge of an old chalk pit close to Barney's grandparents' house he tumbles down through the roof of Stig's den. When he looks round, he encounters Stig, apparently a caveman with shaggy, black hair and bright black eyes. The chalk pit is disused and full of people's dumped rubbish.

Barney and Stig become friends. They have to manage without language, as Stig speaks no English, but that doesn't seem to stop them. Stig's den is a place built out of discarded rubbish, that Barney enjoys. They spend time improving Stig's den, collecting firewood, going hunting, and at one point catch some burglars who break into Barney's grandparents' house. Although Barney mentions Stig to others, no-one believes that Stig is real.

Barney starts to give thought to where Stig has come from. During a very hot, sultry mid-summer's night, when Barney and his sister Lou are unable to sleep, they find themselves transported back in time and out onto the Downs. To their surprise, they meet Stig, back with his own people, engaged in the construction of four gigantic standing stones. They spend a night camping out with the people of Stig's tribe, and helping to shift the final stone into position before sunrise.


Stig of the Dump was adapted for television, firstly by Thames Television for ITV in 1981[2] and later by the BBC in 2002 starring Thomas Sangster, Robert Tannion, Nick Ryan, Geoffrey Palmer, Phyllida Law, Perdita Weeks, and Michaela Dicker.[3] The BBC series won the BAFTA Children's Film & Television Award and its writer, Peter Tabern, received the Best Children's Writer award. The series has been released on DVD.[4]

The book has also been adapted for the theatre, to critical acclaim.[5] Topologika Software Ltd has published an adventure game based on the first three chapters of the book, for Windows.[6]

An extract from Stig of the Dump, featuring new illustrations from Spanish artist Oriol Vidal, was featured in the June 2016 edition of Storytime magazine.


  1. ^ Chris Lutrario. "Stig of the Dump Teacher's Resource". Retrieved 22 October 2009. 
  2. ^ "Little Gems - Stig of the Dump". Retrieved 22 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "Derby - Around Derby - Derbyshire in TV and Film". BBC. Retrieved 22 October 2009. 
  4. ^ "(UK) : Stig Of The Dump : DVD - Free Delivery". Retrieved 22 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "Stig of the Dump - Tabard Theatre - Your London Reviews". IndieLondon. Retrieved 22 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "Stig of the Dump - brings Clive King's story to life". Retrieved 22 October 2009. 

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