ROYSTON CAVE Melbourn Street, Royston, Hertfordshire, SG8 7BZ.

 
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CHRISTMAS AT THE CAVE

ROYSTON CAVE BY CANDLELIGHT IS BACK

6 DECEMBER 2014 11am to 1.30pm

Take a peek inside the Cave and see how the carvings might have looked  by the flickering light of candles
back in the 14th century.

No pre-booking, tickets on the door. Adults £2.50, accompanied children under 16 free.


Royston Cave reopens for normal tours on Saturday April 4th 2015
 

Welcome to Royston Cave

 


360° panoramic view of the inside of the Cave.
If you cannot see the image, please download Quicktime.
To explore the Cave, left click on the picture and move up, down, left or right!
ENLARGE IMAGE

 

Royston Cave is unique in Europe and still largely unexplained. The age of the Cave is uncertain but it is a man-made cavern in the shape of a beehive, with a small aperture at the top for ventilation. It's most remarkable feature is an extensive range of wall carvings representing the Crucifixion, the Holy Family and several saints, among them St Katherine, St Laurence and St Christopher. Other carvings are less easily identified and some have been interpreted as possible pagan symbols.

The carvings are medieval in appearance and some studies of the Cave have drawn comparisons from the wall carvings and other sources to indicate that it may have been used by the Knights Templar. Other studies point to the existence of Masonic symbols within the Cave that could link the Cave to James I who was himself a Freemason and who maintained a hunting lodge at Royston. Others believe the Cave is a spiritual centre where two significant ley-lines cross whilst other studies indicate that the Cave may simply have been a hermitage or a prison.

The latest research carried out by Philip Lankester, retired curator at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, indicates that, in his opinion, the carvings couldn't have been made prior to 1350 which makes it less likely that the Templars had a hand in the carving.

Whatever the case, none of the various theories can claim enough hard evidence to allow us to say for sure who did the carvings and why. This is doubly confounded by the fact that no records exist as to its use or purpose and dating is very difficult for a number of reasons including the lack of organic material and contamination since the Cave was re-discovered.

The Cave remains a mystery and a visit to see for yourself and make up your own mind is a must.

Further reading - click to see a list of books about the Cave

Opening Times for 2015:

The Cave will be open from 04 April 2015 to 27 September 2015, only on the days specified below:

Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays from 2.30 to 5 pm.  

August only also open on Wednesdays from 2.30 to 5 pm.

Last admission is always 4.30 pm.

Tickets cannot be pre-booked. First come first served. Be prepared to queue!

 Entry is by guided tour only (which lasts around 30 to 40 minutes) and only 18 people are allowed down at any one time.

DURING BUSY TIMES VISITORS WILL HAVE TO QUEUE TILL THE NEXT TOUR STARTS.


NO FILMING, VIDEOING OR RECORDING IS ALLOWED IN THE CAVE. PHOTOGRAPHY IS ALLOWED FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. 

PHOTOGRAPHY FOR COMMERCIAL USE IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.

ROYSTON CAVE IS PROUD TO SUPPORT THE HERITAGE WATCH SCHEME - FIND OUT ABOUT IT AT  www.herts.police.uk/HeritageWatch


  Cave  Location

The Cave is situated in Melbourn Street, Royston. Royston is 42 miles north of London at the junction of the A10 and A505. The Cave is three minutes' walk from the Town Hall's car park and ten minutes from Royston rail station. The entrance is just inside the passageway of a double-fronted building on the north side of Melbourn Street, close to the traffic lights at the junction with Lower King Street.

 Important Information


Royston Cave is managed by the Royston & District History Society on behalf of Royston Town Council.

Website text and photos: copyright 2010 - 2014 Royston Town Council. All rights reserved.
Last updated November 2014    
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  For further information, call us on 01763 245484