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In Memory of Sylvia Beamon

We are deeply saddened by the loss of archeologist, author and dear friend of Royston Cave, Sylvia Beamon (1936 - 2021).

Sylvia first visited Royston Cave in the 60s, following her move to the area. Unconvinced by the prevailing theories, Sylvia began her own investigations. This was the start of five decades worth of research.

Sylvia’s contribution to Royston Cave, and the impact she has had on it, is unparalleled. Her theory that it was connected to the Knights Templar, though disputed, transformed public opinion, increased awareness of the cave and improved its popularity.

Sylvia undertook the first recorded excavation of the cave floor in 1976, uncovering artefacts and postholes; published 'Royston Cave: Used by Saints or Sinners?’ in 1992, which remains the go-to for further reading; and researched so extensively that her resources continue to aid our understanding of the cave today.

Elsewhere, Sylvia’s fascination with underground structures evolved. She founded ‘Subterranea Britannica’, now an international society, and co-wrote ‘The Ice-houses of Britain’, which is still recognised as the definitive work on icehouses in the country.

As a way of honouring her legacy, we’ve begun collating an online record of Sylvia’s research and theories, so the vast contributions she made can be seen and recognised forever. We will always be indebted to her. Thank you, Sylvia.

You can read more about Sylvia’s life and her activism in this tribute by her son, published in the Royston Crow:

Thank you!

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