University of Bristol Spelæological Society

Gough's Old Cave: Its history (UBSS Proceedings v.17(3))

Proceedings » Volume 17 » Sub-volume 3

Irwin,D.J., 1986. Gough's Old Cave: Its history. UBSS Proceedings, 17(3) , pp 250-266 Download PDF.

Abstract: During the latter half of the 19th century Gough's Old Cave was variously known as The Great Stalactite Cavern, The New Great Stalactite Cavern and Gough's Stalactite and Stalagmite Cavern. The cave was probably shown to visitors from about the late 18th century. It was certainly open for public viewing by 1869 and was the run by John Weeks. The well-known legend of the Jack and Nancy Beauchamp - Gough partnership is now questioned due to the emergence of new documentary evidence. The extensions made in the cave by Gough between 1877 and 1889 are described, together with accounts of visits by travellers and scientific organisations. Rivalry existed between Gough and the Cox brothers, rising to its peak in the late 1880s. The important extensions made in Gough's New Cave between 1892 and 1898 eclipsed the 'Old' cave, which was finally closed to the public in the early 20th century. This paper has been based on contemporary accounts as far as possible, including newspapers, official documents and travel guides.

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