Wookey Hole Caves

related topics
{island, water, area}
{build, building, house}
{land, century, early}
{film, series, show}
{god, call, give}
{water, park, boat}
{work, book, publish}
{specie, animal, plant}
{church, century, christian}
{ship, engine, design}
{company, market, business}
{@card@, make, design}
{line, north, south}
{mi², represent, 1st}
{food, make, wine}
{village, small, smallsup}

Wookey Hole Caves is a show cave and tourist attraction in the village of Wookey Hole on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills near Wells in Somerset, England.

Wookey Hole cave was formed through erosion of the limestone hills by the River Axe. Before emerging at Wookey Hole the water enters underground streams and passes through other caves such as Swildon's Hole and St Cuthbert's Swallet. After resurging, the waters of the River Axe are used in a handmade paper mill, the oldest extant in Britain, which began operations circa 1610, although a corn grinding mill operated there as early as 1086.[1]

Nearby is the limestone Ebbor Gorge, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a more tranquil spot than the busy Wookey Hole, which is itself an SSSI for both biological and geological reasons.[2]

The cave is noted for the Witch of Wookey Hole – a roughly human shaped rock outcrop, reputedly turned to stone by a monk from Glastonbury. It is also the site of the first cave dives in Britain.

The caves, at a constant temperature of 11 °C (52 °F), have been used by humans for around 50,000 years. The low temperature means that the caves can be used for maturing Cheddar cheese.[3]

Contents

History

The name Wookey is derived from the Celtic (Welsh) "Ogo" or "Ogof" which gave the early names for this cave of "Ochie" "Ochy". Hole is Anglo-Saxon for cave which is itself of Latin/Norman derivation. Therefore the name Wookey Hole Cave can be translated as cave, cave, cave.[4]

Wookey Hole was occupied by humans in the Iron Age, while nearby Hyena Cave was occupied by Stone Age hunters. Badger Hole and Rhinoceros Hole are two dry caves on the slopes above the Wookey ravine near the Wookey Hole resurgence and contain in situ cave sediments laid down during the Ice Age.[2]

In 1544 products of Roman lead working in the area were discovered. The lead mines across the Mendips have produced contamination of the water emerging from the underground caverns at Wookey Hole. The lead in the water is believed to have affected the quality of the paper produced.[5]

Full article ▸

related documents
Willandra National Park
Logging
Skara Brae
Lanaʻi
Thasos
Burgh Island
Skagen
Mount Holyoke
Terschelling
Magdalen Islands
Anticosti Island
Terra Australis
Kourou
Kauai
Back River
River Afan
Colorado Mineral Belt
South Uist
Alabama Hills
Tybee Island, Georgia
Leat
Oahu
Flanaess
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Slidell, Louisiana
Yakima River
Smallingerland
River Ouse, Sussex
Barra
San Juan Mountains