The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Cheddar Gorge and Gough's Cave

Cave / Rock Shelter


Details of Cooper's Hole cave on Pastscape

A cave with an entrance on the south side of the road through Cheddar Gorge. The front of the cave has been quarried back, and the interior contains substantial quantities of debris deposited during an episode of flooding in the late 1960s. Exploration in 1931-2 by RF Parry recovered Iron Age pottery from the cave and from the area of the car park immediately to the south, as well as the remains of domesticated and wild animals. One sheep bone with a hole bored through the middle was described as a "bobbin". A female inhumation was also found in the car park area. In 1966 these finds were on display at the museum at Gough's Cave (ST 45 SE 10). Explorations were also undertaken by the University of Bristol Speleaological Society in the late 1930s, and by several cavers subsequently, primarily in the belief that Cooper's Hole may have led to a much larger cave system, although no evidence to support this idea has ever been found. In 1998 the cave was investigated by Channel 4's Time Team. A flint implement and a deposit of animal bones, the latter below the stalagmite layer and thus potentially of very early, perhaps Palaeolithic, date had been found during cave exploration in the 1950s. Waterlogging prevented re-investigation of this deposit. However, a few sheep bones were found elsewhere within the cave system which have been suggested to be probably Prehistoric on the basis of probable cut marks made by a flint tool. A trench was also dug in the car park in front of the present cave entrance, but could not be taken down as far as the postulated Palaeolithic levels for safety reasons.
Chance Posted by Chance
18th April 2015ce
Edited 3rd April 2016ce

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