Ancient Monuments

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Great Oone's Hole

A Scheduled Monument in Cheddar, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2821 / 51°16'55"N

Longitude: -2.7642 / 2°45'51"W

OS Eastings: 346796.340754

OS Northings: 153936.012516

OS Grid: ST467539

Mapcode National: GBR JH.ZHDM

Mapcode Global: VH89J.11JH

Entry Name: Great Oone's Hole

Scheduled Date: 4 September 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010906

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13261

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Cheddar

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


Great Oone's Hole is situated on the left bank of Cheddar Gorge, c.80m above
the current valley floor and c.15m below the plateau. It consists of a 4m wide
gated entrance leading into a roomy tunnel, c.150m long and running
horizontally before sloping steeply downwards towards a choke at the back of
the cave. Outside the entrance is a narrow platform, 5m wide, bordered by a
modern retaining wall.
Partial excavations carried out by Porch in c.1902 and by the University of
Bristol Spelaeological Society in the 1970s have revealed Later Upper
Palaeolithic flint artefacts and faunal material. Iron Age and Roman finds
have also been recovered from the cave. There are also fake cave paintings on
the cave wall. Although the excavations were concentrated near the entrance of
the cave, considerable quantities of deposit still remain within 20m of the
mouth, against the wall and under fallen roof blocks, and outside on the
platform, underneath excavation tip. All these deposits are included in the

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.

The 21 sites in Somerset form the densest and one of the most important
concentrations of monuments of this type in the country. Great Oone's Hole is
particularly significant because large areas of archaeological deposit remain
unexcavated near the entrance of the cave.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Balch, H E, Mendip - Cheddar, its Gorge and Caves, (1947)
Barrington, N, Stanton, W I, Mendip: The Complete Caves and a View of the Hills, (1977)
Campbell, J B, The Upper Palaeolithic of Britain, (1977)
Stanton, W I, 'Proceedings of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society' in Cheddar Gorge and Gough's Cave, , Vol. 17, no 2, (1986), 121-8

Source: Historic England

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