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

Paviland Cave

Cave / Rock Shelter


After seeing this place on TV a few years ago I checked to see if anyone had been there from on this website, they hadn't, there was only Kammers implement pictures, so I thought Id quite like to be the first to post some on site pictures. Gladmans first visit failed to get there, and I was just about to start seriously thinking about getting to this hard to get to cave when thesweetcheat got there first. Winning the cave race. Blown it, taking to long to get somewhere other than North Wales, then Gladman won his round two, but only just and then Carl went and said his piece. So, far from being the first to get somewhere awesome to share with folk, which I like, i'm fourth, it'll do.
2nd September.
I thought I'd be a clever boy and check out the tide timetable, low tide 3pm, cool.
As I've said elsewhere I've managed to pry my daughter loose from her bedroom and WiFi, she followed me now along the footpath, it was luckily quite warm and sunny, which is not how the day started. After crossing five fields we get to the coastal path, I note above and to the right of us is a cliff top promontory fort, ignored, we carry on following the wall down towards the sea, footing gets more uncertain under scree and wet grass, especially for those among us that think going to the corner shop is a noteworthy expedition.
I can hear the sea now and tensions are rising, but something is wrong with the sea, besides being cold and wet, it's not out. I tell Phil to sit here in the sun and wait for me while I go down to the shore and see what I can see. The rocks going down to the sea are a major hazard, sharp, hard and twisted full of holes, if you slip and crack your head here you may never get back up again. The sea has definitely cut me off from the prize, I get as close to a photo of it as possible, admit defeat for now, collect my progeny and whisk her away up to the second prize fort.
Later that day I ask at the campsite for tide times tomorrow, the young fellow me lad, gave me the time of 2pm. I now rewrite tomorrows plans around being back on that beach for 2pm.
3rd September.
In the morning we went to a very wet little zoo near Tenby, not only was Jason Bourne and Scarlett Johansson not there, but the animals seemed to have gone on holiday too.
We raced back to Gower, at 2.10pm I was on my way back across the five fields, sans daughter, it was raining and shes already walked ten times further than her monthly allowance. On my own I was much quicker, I had my fingers crossed for most of the walk. Back on the beach I can see sand, you need to see sand, no sand = no cave.
I daintily and carefully slip and slide down onto the beach, I cant mention "the beach" without thinking about war films.
Sand underfoot I turn to the sea and give it the V's with both hands, you wont see that on Saving private Brian, whilst hoping in turn that it wont jinx me into staying too long and having to embarrassingly wade back.
Onward and upwards, another short scramble up improbable rocks and i'm standing on the threshold of the most famous cave in Britain. I enter the cave shaking after all the climbing, sweating profusely, it's warm out but raining and i'm all proofed up. It's impossible to photograph the cave in this condition so I sit and have a smoke for five minutes. In the back of my mind is the retreating tide, it's been coming in all the time I've been here so I must be vigilant. At the forefront of my mind is the incredible span of time since the interment to now, all the changes to the landscape and to the mind of man, it's just staggering.
I don't even think about climbing up to the smaller cave/chimney, its wet and slippery and my big walking boots aren't made for rock climbing, and i'm on my own with no cell reception.
One odd thing, at the entrance to the cave is a quartz seam running down one wall across the floor and up the other side. I wondered how long people had a special attachment to quartz, what if it goes back this far in time, what if they chose this cave because of it, did it keep away bad spirits, did it ensure the dead a safe passage to where ever, did it purify those entering the cave , who knows, anyway, I thought it odd.
But it's time to go, probably, I stand once more on the beach, turning to the sea I appreciate and acknowledge a worthy opponent, by sticking out my tongue and blowing hard, with that I humbly accept fourth place and quit the beach.
postman Posted by postman
4th September 2016ce
Edited 4th September 2016ce

Comments (3)

The prize is the same, first or fourth. Great notes as ever. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
4th September 2016ce
Armstrong was the first on the moon, who came fourth? no one knows.
Most appreciated though.
postman Posted by postman
4th September 2016ce
As TSC says - 'great notes' Postie. I am really glad you made it. It's not the easiest place to get to but not as 'impossible' as I have read in several books. This is a special place. Perhaps the difficulty in accessing it adds to its allure? Posted by CARL
5th September 2016ce
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