Lime Kiln Hill Quarry Cave


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012068

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1991


Ordnance survey map of Lime Kiln Hill Quarry Cave
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. 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 - 1012068 .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 21-Nov-2018 at 10:21:18.


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

County: Somerset

District: Mendip (District Authority)

Parish: Mells

National Grid Reference: ST 73062 48659


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.

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.


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


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.

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: 13264

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing