Not being much of a caveman my heart sank when I saw the Wombeyan cave shot chosen as this week's feature.
However the local flea market came to my rescue when I found this postcard.
|Solomon's Temple, Gough's Cave, Cheddar Gorge|
Cheddar Gorge in Somerset is famous for its caves; it's a spectacular place to visit and is a favourite for those hardy souls who spend their time rock climbing
There can’t be much doubt how that cave’s name came about.
A number of the caves have great shows of stalactites and stalagmites.
|Cox's Cave showing stalactites and stalagmites|
Some 40,000 years ago the inhabitants were said to have practised cannibalism, yet 200 years ago the Gorge was little known and the track to it had been abandoned following tales of ghostly attacks by beings from the hillside.
Modern ghost busters who spent the night at Cox's Mill nearby reported light anomalies, a sudden feeling of sickness and a face that appeared from the wood panelling around the fireplace.
However if it’s spooks you want, then the place to be in Somerset is undoubted the caves at Wookey Hole.
|Wookey Hole Cave and underground river|
Human remains, pottery and crude jewellery have provided evidence that the caves were inhabited by Stone Age hunters.
The caves have been formed by millions of years of erosion by the River Axe. Many stalactites and stalagmites have been left behind. One large stalagmite is said to be the Witch of Wookey, turned to stone for her evil deeds.
|The Witch of Wookey|
Supposedly, the witch lived in the caves with a goat and its kid as her familiars; crossed in love she cast spells on the Wookey villagers. A monk sent to the cave by the Abbot of Glastonbury sprinkled her with holy water. She turned to stone where she stands today on the bank of the Axe in Wookey’s Great Cave.
In 1912 excavations in the caves discovered the bones of a Romano-British woman with, nearby, the bones of a goat and kid, a comb, a dagger and a round stalagmite like a witch’s crystal ball. The relics are on show in the Wells and Mendip Museum.
|Skeleton labelled the Witch of Wookey (Wells and Mendip Museum|
My trips underground have been restricted to the Tube and to old copper mines at Alderley Edge in Cheshire – not haunted, I’m pleased to say.
If you fancy yourself as a speleologist then cross over and follow the links at Sepia-saturday-183.
- Rift Cave - Nov 1967 by John Reston - Geograph Project Collection, CC BY-SA 2,0
- Cox's Cave - Oct 2008 by Throwawayhack - CC BY-SA 3,0
- Wookey Hole Cave - April 2012 by Becks - CC BY 2.0
- Wookey Map and the Witch of Wookey - freepages-folklore. ancestry.com
- Skeleton in Wells and Mendip Museum - June 2013 by Rodw - CC BY-SA 3.0