In the 1800’s the Yorkshire dales looked very different to the untarnished natural beauty that we see today. The whole area was alive with hopeful prospectors, searching for a wide array of bountiful materials such as, copper, gold, silver, tin, iron and salt. In 1860 a group of hopeful treasure hunters were on the prowl for a new location that would be rich in lead, a highly valuable material at the time. Little did they know, they would accidently gain access to a huge labyrinth of long forgotten caves and caverns, now known as Stump Cross Caverns. It was not unusual for miners in the Yorkshire dales to stumble upon these million-year-old underground worlds, and often they wouldn’t even bother to report their find. But one man on that excavation team that day realised the true potential and significance of this vast maze of undiscovered and undisturbed secrets, that lay in wait for their chance to see day light once more.
The cave system stretches for at least 6km, although the show cave that is open to the public is substantially smaller.
Among an extraordinary, almost other worldly display of stalactites and stalagmites, early explorers found bones of many animal species that have been extinct in this part of the world for thousands of years! Several Wolverine where found deep in the belly of the cave as if the cavern itself had swallowed them whole. In actuality, the wolverines probably followed their natural prey (deer, wild boar and bison, whose remains were also recovered.) into the cave in search of an easy meal.
In 1860 a group of hopeful treasure hunters were on the prowl for a new location that would be rich in lead, a highly valuable material at the time. They would accidently gain access to a huge labyrinth of long forgotten caves and caverns.
The Stump Cross Caverns are a hugely popular tourist destination in Yorkshire and its very easy to understand why. The cave system stretches for at least 6km, although the show cave that is open to the public is substantially smaller. it is beautifully presented with strategically placed lighting, giving the glistening minerals in the cave walls the sparkle they deserve.
On site there is a café, shop and ample parking. Helmets are provided at the entrance to the cave and must we worn at all times when you’re below ground (trust me, you need them!) to drop down into the cave you must walk down the 65 large steps, which unfortunately mean that wheelchair and pushchair access is not possible. I would very highly recommend a trip to Stump Cross Caverns! who knew that deep below the enchanting landscape of the Yorkshire dales, it could be just as, if not more beautiful than the surface.