Cave Panorama

Royston Cave

This illutration of the cave Martin Kaszak and is used with his kind permission.

Discovery

The cave was discovered in 1742 when workmen were building a bench for women selling butter and cheese in the Butter Market. As they banged a post into the ground, it nearly disappeared - by chance they had found the centre hole of a millstone which had been placed on top of the cave and covered over.

This was removed and the soil excavated, revealing carvings on the walls of crucifixion scenes and various religious figures, such as St Catherine, St Christopher, etc.

Most of the wall decoration is thought to have been done during the time of the Crusaders, when the cave was believed to have been used as a chapel by the Knights Templar organisation.

The entrance is beside the Cave Shop.

Further Information

For more information on the Royston Cave, see the Publications available from the Local History Society :

  • DVD - Royston Cave, A Mystery beneath the Streets

The DVD is available from Ebay and Royston Museum

  • Exploring Royston Cave by Sylvia Beamom
  • The Medieval Structure Within the Royston Cave by P T Houldcroft
  • A Pictorial Guide to Royston Cave by P T Houldcroft
  • A Medieval Mystery at the Cross Roads by P T Houldcroft

All the above are available from the Treasurer or you can visit the Cave web site

Origins

Exact details of the origins of Royston Cave are unknown, with some theories suggesting that it may have been dug as early as Neolithic times, approximately 3,000 BC. However, the chalk in this area only provides small flint nodules, generally unsuitable for axe making, so this may cast some doubt on this theory.

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