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The Literature of Kent's Cavern: Part V

by

W. Pengelly, FRS, FGS, etc.

Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1884, Vol XVI, pp. 189-434.

Index prepared by Michael Steer

Kent’s Cavern is a cave system in Torquay. It is notable for its archaeological and geological features. The cave system is open to the public and has been a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1952 and a Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1957. Kents Cavern is first recorded as Kents Hole Close on a 1659 deed when the land was leased to John Black. The earliest evidence of exploration of the caves in historic times is two inscriptions, "William Petre 1571" and "Robert Hedges 1688" engraved on stalagmites. The first recorded excavation was that of Thomas Northmore in 1824. Northmore's work attracted the attention of William Buckland, the first Reader in Geology at the University of Oxford, who sent a party including John MacEnery to explore the caves in an attempt to find evidence that Mithras was once worshipped in the area. MacEnery, the Roman Catholic chaplain at Torre Abbey, conducted systematic excavations between 1824 and 1829. When MacEnery reported to the British Association the discovery of flint tools below the stalagmites on the cave floor, his work was derided as contrary to Bishop James Ussher's Biblical chronology dating the Creation to 4004 BC. In September 1845 the recently created Torquay Natural History Society requested permission from Sir Lawrence Palk to explore the caves to obtain fossils and artefacts for the planned Torquay Museum, and as a result Edward Vivian and William Pengelly were allowed to conduct excavations between 1846 and 1858. Vivian reported to the Geological Society in 1847, but at the time, it was generally believed that early humans had entered the caves long after the formation of the cave structures examined. This changed when in the Autumn of 1859, following the work of Pengelly at the Brixham Cavern and of Jacques de Perthes in France, the Royal Society, the Society of Antiquaries, and the British Association agreed that the excavations had established the antiquity of humanity. In 1865 the British Association created a committee, led by Pengelly, to fully explore the cave system over the course of fifteen years.] It was Pengelly's party that discovered Robert Hedges' stalagmite inscription, and from the stalagmite's growth since that time deduced that human-created artefacts found under the formation could be half a million years old. Pengelly plotted the position of every bone, flint, and other artefact he discovered during the excavations, and afterward continued working with the Torquay Natural History Society until his death in 1892 at his home less than 2 km from the caves. The Literature of Kent's Cavern, Parts I. to IV, the last of which was printed in 1878 (Trans. Devon. Assoc, il 469-522, iii. 191-482, iv. 467-490, and x. 141-181), included all that had been written on the Cavern before 28th March, 1865, when a new chapter in its history was begun. The present, Part (V.) of The Literature of the Cavern consists of sixteen Reports that have been revised and abridged throughout. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

  Page
Adams, Dr Leith 211, 320, 349, 421-2
Ayshford Sanford, Mr W. 189, 270, 272, 274
Baker, Mr G.W. 426
Battersby, Dr 192, 235
Benas, A. 426
Benas, R 426
Bertie, I 396
Boyd Dawkins, Professor W. 189, 248-50, 270, 384
Brown, Dr Campbell 426
Buckland, Rev Dr 192, 329, 331, 337-9
Busk, Mr George 189, 272, 320, 324, 357-8, 374, 422
Carruthers, Mr William 307
Champernowne, A. 362
Champernowne, M. 361
Chard, A. 396
Clinnick, John 335, 360, 366, 369, 371, 373, 375, 378, 418, 420, 422
Colby, Richard (Calley) 361
Crampton, R. 361
Crew, W. 396
Crocker, S. 396
Davy, F. 396
Deluc, Mr J.A. 361
Downall 376
Drysdale, Mr I.I. 426
Durander, Mr H. 426
Earle, Rev W. 426
Evans, Mr John, F.R.S. 189, 202-3, 213-4, 219, 224, 242, 250. 253, 265, 269, 329, 368
Everett, Mr 251
Farr, John 255-6, 335
Ferand, Mr Gerard 412
Franks, Mr A 214
Furse, N.I. 361
George III 227
Gilbert, Sir Humphrey 362
Godwin-Austen, Mr R.A.C. 192, 204, 225
Greenwell, Rev Canon 412
Guthrie, Mr M. 426
Günther, Dr 270
Hay, Anton 396
Hayward, Mr I.W. 426
Hedges, Robert (Ireland) Hodges: Hodgson 377, 379-80, 383
Hughes, Mr E. 426
Hunt, Miss 426
Hunt, Mrs A. 426
Hunt, A.R. Esq 335, 426
Jackson, Mr 274
Johnson, Mr R.C. 426
Jones, Mr W. 426
Keeper, Mr Franks 206
Keeping, Mr Charles 193
Knight, G. 392
Lane, Ambrose 361
Lane, Richard 361
Lavers, Mr W. 426
Lear, R. 361-2
Lee, Mr J.E. 189, 426
Leith Adams, see Adams  
Lemaire, Peter (Lemaine) 361
Lievr, Job F. 361
Lowndes, Mr R. 426
Lubbock, Sir J 189
Luscombe, Nicholas 371, 386
Lyell, Sir Charles 189, 197, 204, 263, 370
MacEnery, Rev J. 191, 193, 196, 198-9, 203-5, 208, 215-8, 222, 225, 229, 255, 258, 263, 266, 269, 289, 300, 302-10, 313-9, 321-2, 329, 331-5, 337, 339, 341-3, 351, 356, 361-2, 375, 377, 389-91, 393, 396, 398-401, 403, 405, 407
MacKenzie, Captain 426
Marples, Mr John 426
Marples, Mr Josiah 426
Marples, W. 426
Marty, John (N) 376
Matthews, William 386, 393-5
Mather, William 376
Maton 227
Montagu, Colonel 430
More, Dauid 396
Morton, Mr G.H. 426
Mott, Mr C.G. 426
Newton, Professor Alfred 350
Northmore, Mr (Cleve, Exeter) 191, 254
Owen, Professor 203, 272, 333, 425
Palk, Sir L. (Lord Haldon) 190, 193, 216, 218, 356, 429
Pengelly, William 189, 192-3
Petre, William 396-7
Petre, Sir William 397
Phillips, Professor 189, 199, 350
Picton, Mr W.H. 426
Polwhele 227, 260
Pride, Iane 361
Prince 397
Radcliffe, Mr D 426
Raleigh, Sir Walter 362
Ridgway, Thomas 397
Roberts, Mr Isaac 426
Robinson, Mr J.T. 426
Robinson, Mr T.W.U. 412
Rodway, Mr Charles 231, 323-4
Samuelson, Mr J. 426
Sanford (see Ayshford Sanford)  
Sarawak, Rajah of 251
Sartorius, Admiral 255
Shuttleworth, Sir J. K. 274
Simpkin Marshall & Co 192
Skinner, John 396
Slater, Mr H.H. 351
Smerdon, George 255, 288-9, 292, 294, 296-300, 335, 371, 386, 421, 430
Southcote (Bovey Tracey) 397
Staplehill, Gilbart 362
Staplyn, Gilbart 361-2
Sykes, Captain 337
Tanner, Mr J. 426
Taylor, John 361
Thomas, R.H. 361
Thomson, Mr I.C. 426
Timmins, Mr 426
Torkinton, Mildred (Torkington) 361
Trenhele, Thomas 361
Trevelyan, Sir W.C. 191
Underhay, Mr John 351, 356-7, 359
Vivian, Mr E. 189, 192-3, 203, 321, 365, 426
Vizard 361
Whidborne, Mr G.F. 426
White, Mr J.T. 397
Wilks, Dr G.F.A. 426
Williamson, Professor W.C. 425
Willis, W.P. 361
Wish, I 361
Wish, James 362
Wish, W. 361-2