History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Located just outside the spa town of Buxton, these caves were named after an infamous outlaw John Poole, who, rumour has it, used them as a hideout during the early years of the 15th century. For many years the existence of Poole was in doubt, but a recent stash of coins dating from the early 1400s found within the caves does tend to lend credence to the tales.
As for the caves themselves, they show some quite remarkable limestone deposits reminiscent of mushrooms, and some much larger calcite deposits that glitter like ice in the low light. Neolithic and Roman remains have been found in the caves, and these are displayed in the visitor centre at the cave entrance.
Notable features of Poole's Cavern include:
- The Flitch of Bacon - a distinctive stalactite, given its unusual name because Victorians thought that was what it looked like! For many years it was assumed that the tip of the stalactite had been lost to early vandals, but by sheer chance it was discovered lying in the bushes at the cave mouth, and is now displayed in the museum at the cavern entrance.
- Small stalagmites with brown tops, resembling mushrooms (see photo). These grow remarkably quickly in the damp environment
- Mary Queen of Scots stone - the ill-fated queen was one of the first tourists to visit Poole's Cavern. The story goes that she was so overcome by the grandeur of the stone that bears her name that she embraced and kissed it in awe. Had she known that a colony of bats lives directly above the stone and make regular, er, deposits on the stone surface, she might not have been so free with her favours!
About Pooles Cavern
Address: Green Lane, Buxton, Derbyshire, England, SK17 9DH
Attraction Type: Family Attraction
Location: at the SW edge of Buxton
Website: Pooles Cavern
OS: SK050 726
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
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