- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 13-May-2021 at 17:31:10.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Mendip (District Authority)
- 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.
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
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)
With RNEB and SNC, Jacobi, R M, With RNEB and SNC, (1986)
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