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We want to help facilitate your research by making the request of images and information accessible and transparent. On this page you will find resources to make your research of Royston Cave easier.

Research Enquiries

Our website and online archive should provide most people with sufficient information about Royston Cave. If you require something more detailed or can't find what you're looking for, please email your enquiry to

By emailing us you agree that Royston Cave may contact you regarding your enquiry. We aim to reply within 2 working days. Please check your spam folder.

Research Reports


A number of historians and specialists have contributed to our understanding of Royston Cave through their studies and research.

We've begun publishing some of their reports below.

Philip Lankester, 2012

In 2012, Philip Lankester, former senior curator at the Royal Armouries, attempted to date the cave’s carvings by studying the style of their dress, crowns, swords and shields. 

An Investigation of Royston Cave, Sylvia Beamon and Lisa Donel, 1978

In 1976, local historians and archaeologists Sylvia Beamon and Lisa Donel undertook 5 days of excavation into the floor of Royston Cave, to investigate potential hidden features or materials and determine the nature of its octagonal step.

Reproduced with kind permission of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society. Material supplied by ADS Archive.

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Image Service

Fees & Image Policy


Information about Image Service fees and Terms of Use can be found here. 


Updated Feb 2021.

Image Request Form


Please complete our Image Request Form and email it to

Request Forms should be as detailed and complete as possible, otherwise we may not be able to process your request.

Image Service

Our Image Service provides licensed access to stunning, high-quality imagery of Royston Cave and its carvings for commercial and non-commercial use, subject to our licensing agreement.


Once you have read our Image Policy, please complete our Image Request Form and email it to

Bespoke Photography

If we do not already have a photograph of the specific subject you require, or if its quality is not suitable, we can offer a bespoke photography service.


You will be expected to meet the photography charges. Royston Cave will retain copyright of the image and supply under license.

Visitor Photography

We allow visitors to take their own photographs of Royston Cave for free while on-site, for personal and educational use.


Allowed uses include:


  1. Personal reference.

  2. Sharing on your personal social media accounts.

  3. Posting on your personal blog.

  4. Personal research and private study.

  5. As a teaching resource in a classroom, school, college or university.

  6. Reproduction in a dissertation or thesis submitted by a student attending a recognised or listed educational establishment or organisation.


Filming, recording and commercial photography is strictly prohibited without prior written permission from Royston Cave.

For full terms and conditions of visitor photography, see our Visitor Photography Policy.

Visitor Photography
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Our Archive


Our Archive is a unique record of Royston Cave's past and present. It preserves and explores the story of Royston Cave; its discovery, its carvings, its theories and its progression as a heritage attraction. Our Archive is a resource for researchers, academics and members of the public.

Our Collection


Although all of the artefacts found in Royston Cave shortly after its discovery were lost, a significant number of objects excavated from the cave's floor in the late 20th century still exist and are held at Royston Museum. We've begun digitising the Cave's Collection so it can be researched and accessed by all.



We have provided a selection of publications about Royston Cave which we recommend as further reading, listed here in chronological order. Other publications are available.

North, G. (1742). Letter on a Vault Discovered at Royston, Herts. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Minute Book IV.


Stukeley, W. (1743). Palaeographia Britannica: or, Discourses on Antiquities in Britain. Number I. Origines Roystonianæ, or, an account of the Oratory of Lady Roisia, Foundress of Royston, discovered at Royston, in August 1742. London: R. Manby.

Parkin, C. (1744). An Answer To, Or Remarks Upon Dr. Stukeley’s, Origines Roystonianæ; Wherein, The Antiquity and Imagery of the Oratory, lately discovered at Royston in Hertfordshire, Are Truly Stated, and Accounted For. London: J. Hoyles

Stukeley, W. (1746). Palaeographia Britannica: or, Discourses on Antiquities in Britain. Number II. Origines Roystonianæ, Part II. or a defence of Lady Roisia de Vere, Foundress of Royston, against the calumny of Mr. Parkin rector of Oxburgh. wherein his pretended answer is fully refuted : the former opinion further confirmed and illustrated. To which occasionally are added, many curious matters in antiquity : and fix copper-plates. Stamford: F. Howgrave.

Beldam, J. (1858). The Origin and Use of The Royston Cave. Royston: Warren Bros.

Kingston, A. (1906). A History of Royston. Royston: Warren Bros.

Beamon, S.P. and Donel, L.G. (1978). An Investigation of Royston Cave. Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society. Volume LXVIII. Cambridge: The Burlington Press Ltd.

Beamon, S.P. (1992). Royston Cave: Used By Saints or Sinners? Baldock: Cortney Publications.

Houldcroft, P.T. (1995). The Medieval Structure within Royston Cave. Royston: Royston and District Local History Society.

Houldcroft, P.T. (1998). A Pictorial Guide To Royston Cave. Royston: Royston and District Local History Society.


Houldcroft, P.T. (2008). A Medieval Mystery at the Crossroads. Royston: Royston and District Local History Society. 

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