Outlook Cave

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1010711
Date first listed:
27-Sep-1991

Map

© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1010711.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 13-May-2021 at 17:31:10.

Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Somerset
District:
Mendip (District Authority)
Parish:
St. Cuthbert Out
National Grid Reference:
ST 52464 48644

Reasons for Designation

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 this type of monument in the country. The importance of Outlook Cave lies in the occurrence of rare human remains associated with a Late Glacial fauna from a sealed context, areas of which still survive within the cave.

Details

Outlook Cave is situated high on the right bank of Ebbor Gorge, 58m above the current valley bottom and 50m below the plateau. It consists of an artificially widened entrance, c.1m wide and 1.5m high, leading to a small chamber extending c.12m and with a passage off to the east. A Mendip Nature Research Committee excavation in 1907 uncovered human and animal remains of Neolithic and later date, while, beneath a stalagmite floor, were reported human remains and reindeer bones. Although much of the cave has been excavated, archaeological deposits are believed to survive inside the eastern passage and on the north-west wall of the small chamber, sealed beneath a remnant of stalagmite floor. The monument, therefore, includes the cave and all of its remaining deposits.

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

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
13266
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Balch, H E, Mendip - the Great Cave of Wookey Hole, (1914)
Balch, H E, Wookey Hole, its Caves and Cave Dwellers, (1914)
Barrington, N, Stanton, W I, Mendip: The Complete Caves and a View of the Hills, (1977)
Other
With RNEB and SNC, Jacobi, R M, With RNEB and SNC, (1986)

Legal

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].