Dead Man's Cave

Anston Woods Cave

Useful Information

Location: South Anston, Anston Woods.
(53.3459, -1.2091)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1967–1968 excavated by George White.
1967-1970 cave excavated by Paul Mellars, 10,000 year old flint tools found.
07-SEP-1992 listed as Scheduled Monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.


Dead Man's Cave is a rather small cave or rock shelter in dolomitic limestone. The limestone has a horizontal bedding which resulted in a sort of overhang or protruding ledge above the cave entrance, by a harder layer. The cave entrance is triangular, 2.5 m wide and 1.5 m high. A narrow and low passage leads to the single chamber, which is 4.5 m long and 3 m wide.

The cave was designated a Scheduled Monument because of the survival of rare organic material and in situ deposits. Between 1967 and 1970 excavations of the narrow platform in front of the cave revealed Roman and Later Upper Palaeolithic artefacts. The prehistoric artifacts are 21 lithic artefacts and fragments of reindeer bone and antler which were C14 dated to 9850 BP. Further remains are expected beneath the flowstone floor at the rear end of the cave and on the entrance platform.

Dead Man's Cave is situated on the north side of the shallow gorge of Anston Brook, in a forest called Anston Stones Wood. It is used by the Brantcliffe-Dinnington railway line, the cave is only a few meters north of the rails. Dead Man's cave is reached from Anston Parish Hall car park by following the well marked path to the gorge. Take the higher path at the fork.