Ancient Monuments

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Pixie's Hole, Chudleigh Rocks

A Scheduled Monument in Chudleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5967 / 50°35'47"N

Longitude: -3.6044 / 3°36'15"W

OS Eastings: 286540.163453

OS Northings: 78665.005739

OS Grid: SX865786

Mapcode National: GBR QR.1X6M

Mapcode Global: FRA 37BH.9LG

Entry Name: Pixie's Hole, Chudleigh Rocks

Scheduled Date: 6 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010740

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10719

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Chudleigh

Built-Up Area: Chudleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Chudleigh St Martin and St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The cave of Pixie's Hole is situated on the north side of the Kate Brook
Valley, about 65m east of Cow Cave. The cave lies about 27m above the valley
floor and its eastern section comprises a long passage which connects with
other chambers and passages of the rift system and may provide a connection
with the nearby Cow Cave. The eastern passage of Pixie's Hole extends from the
entrance and slopes gently inwards towards the Pope's Chamber, a distance of
about 30m. Investigations of the cave were undertaken in the 19th century but
proved inconclusive. New excavations conducted by Collcutt in 1976-8, about
10m in from the entrance, produced a rich concentration of Late Upper
Palaeolithic artefacts and animal bones associated with a hearth and all
stratified beneath a stalagmite floor. The area in front of the entrance has
been heavily affected by quarrying and it is not known whether any
archaeological deposits survive. The monument includes the whole of the
eastern passage and its contained deposits from the cave mouth to the Pope's

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Palaeolithic caves and rock shelters provide some of the earliest evidence of
human activity in the period from about 400,000 to 10,000 years ago. The
sites, all natural topographic features, occur mainly in hard limestone in the
north and west of the country, although examples also exist in the softer
rocks of south-east England. Evidence for human occupation is often located
near the cave entrances, close to the rock walls or on the exterior platforms.
The interiors sometimes served as special areas for disposal and storage or
were places where material naturally accumulated from the outside. Because of
the special conditions of deposition and preservation, organic and other
fragile materials often survive well and in stratigraphic association. Caves
and rock shelters are therefore of major importance for understanding this
period. Due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their
longevity as a monument type, all examples with good survival of deposits are
considered to be nationally important.

Pixie's Hole provides a very rare example of an Upper Palaeolithic `living
floor' in a British Cave. The site is one of three caves in the valley known
to contain significant Palaeolithic deposits. Although partly excavated the
cave retains considerable potential for the preservation of archaeological and
environmental evidence.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Collcutt, S N, The Palaeolithic of Britain and its nearest neighbours
Pengelly, W, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Ossiferous caverns and fissures ........ of Chudleigh, Devon, , Vol. 6, (1873), 44-60
SX87NE-030, REF SX87NE-030,

Source: Historic England

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