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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1131081



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


District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Amesbury

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 10-Jan-1953

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 321314

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

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

Reasons for Designation

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


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


AMESBURY - SU 1541 11/3 Gay's Cave and Diamond 10.1.53

GV II* Grotto, late C18, perhaps by Flitcroft or Chambers. Limestone facade and lining to chalk cut cave set in cliff over River Avon, and below defences of Vespasian's camp (landscaped Iron Age hillfort). Spoil forms front apron with inclined paths forming the 'diamond' in plan and elevation. Facade set at end of short dromos, an arch with springing and keyblocks, and an open cornice, all mouldings partly 'overgrown' with uncut rock-faced stone. Iron gates with fan top. Interior has square cell with arch headed niches each side, and to rear, an arch to an apse. Groined vault. Settings in floor for features now missing. Probably the place used by John Gay to write 'The Beggar's Opera' and 'Polly' in seclusion during his long stay and patronage by the Duchess of Queensbury.

Listing NGR: SU1473741692

Selected Sources

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National Grid Reference: SU 14737 41692


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End of official listing