Ancient Monuments

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Lime Kiln Hill Quarry Cave

A Scheduled Monument in Mells, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2365 / 51°14'11"N

Longitude: -2.3872 / 2°23'13"W

OS Eastings: 373062.126957

OS Northings: 148659.432472

OS Grid: ST730486

Mapcode National: GBR 0S6.H7T

Mapcode Global: VH97C.K5TY

Entry Name: Lime Kiln Hill Quarry Cave

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012068

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13264

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Mells

Built-Up Area: Mells

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


Lime Kiln Hill Quarry Cave is exposed in the south-west corner of the quarry
and comprises two water-eroded funnels which join together at their bases.
These have been cut and left in section and appear to form the back of a
single cave rift more than 30m deep, since removed by quarrying. The site is
most easily spotted by the `mustard' colour of the fill which stands out
against the limestone. The cave fissure was partially excavated by the
University of Bristol Spelaeological Society between 1971 and 1974 and by
R. Vranch between 1974 and 1984. In addition to a rich collection of
Pleistocene faunal remains the site has yielded a Middle Palaeolithic chert
handaxe. The protected area includes the cave fissures and their deposits.

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. Lime Kiln Hill
Quarry Cave is of particular importance owing to the presence of Middle
Palaeolithic material, which is very rare on Mendip. It is considered that
further Middle Palaeolithic finds survive in the largely intact archaeological
deposits in the cave fissures.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barrington, N, Stanton, W I, Mendip: The Complete Caves and a View of the Hills, (1977)
Vranch, R D, 'Proceedings of the University of Bristol Speleological Society' in A note on Pleistocene material from Lime Kiln Hill Quarry..., , Vol. 16 no. 1, (1981), 70
Vranch, R D and Currant, A P, (further details of Lime Kiln Hill Quarry Cave), Forthcoming

Source: Historic England

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