Pixie's Hole, Chudleigh Rocks


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010740

Date first listed: 06-Feb-1992


Ordnance survey map of Pixie's Hole, Chudleigh Rocks
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge (District Authority)

Parish: Chudleigh

National Grid Reference: SX 86540 78665


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Pixie's Hole provides a very rare example of an Upper Palaeolithic `living floor' in a British Cave. The site is one of three caves in the valley known to contain significant Palaeolithic deposits. Although partly excavated the cave retains considerable potential for the preservation of archaeological and environmental evidence.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The cave of Pixie's Hole is situated on the north side of the Kate Brook Valley, about 65m east of Cow Cave. The cave lies about 27m above the valley floor and its eastern section comprises a long passage which connects with other chambers and passages of the rift system and may provide a connection with the nearby Cow Cave. The eastern passage of Pixie's Hole extends from the entrance and slopes gently inwards towards the Pope's Chamber, a distance of about 30m. Investigations of the cave were undertaken in the 19th century but proved inconclusive. New excavations conducted by Collcutt in 1976-8, about 10m in from the entrance, produced a rich concentration of Late Upper Palaeolithic artefacts and animal bones associated with a hearth and all stratified beneath a stalagmite floor. The area in front of the entrance has been heavily affected by quarrying and it is not known whether any archaeological deposits survive. The monument includes the whole of the eastern passage and its contained deposits from the cave mouth to the Pope's Chamber.

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: 10719

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Collcutt, S N, The Palaeolithic of Britain and its nearest neighbours
Pengelly, W, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Ossiferous caverns and fissures ........ of Chudleigh, Devon, , Vol. 6, (1873), 44-60
SX87NE-030, REF SX87NE-030,

End of official listing