Royston cave is a small artificial cave in Royston in Hertfordshire, England. It is located beneath the crossroads formed by Ermine Street and the Icknield Way. It has recently been speculated that it was used by the Knights Templar, who founded nearby Baldock, but this is unlikely, despite its enormous popular appeal. It is more likely that it originated as a cell for anchorites from the nearby Augustinian Priory, although a recent suggestion is that it was the town's earliest prison, perhaps dating from the late fifteenth century. It is open to the public in the summer months on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday afternoons between Easter and October.
Royston Cave is a circular, bell-shaped chamber 8 metres (26 feet) high and 5 metres (17 feet) in diameter with a circumferential octagonal podium. The origin of this chamber is unknown. This cave is unique in Britain - if not the world - for its numerous medieval carvings on the walls. Some of the figures are thought to be those of St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Lawrence and St. Christopher.
... the Templars were forced to meet in caves, tunnels and cellars in Hertfordshire and elsewhere in southeast England ... at least 300 years, workmen accidentally stumbled upon Royston Cave (August 1742), hidden under a heavy millstone and a covering of soil ... The cave's discovery created much excitement ...
... Although the origin of the cave is unknown, the story of the rediscovery is very well known ... The rumour was that there must be a treasure buried beneath the soil inside the cave ... of a brown earthenware cup with yellow spots discovered in the soil filling the cave sounds like a well-known early post-medieval type, no earlier than the late 16th century ...
Famous quotes containing the word cave:
“While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin,
And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley (17921822)