Belfry Bulletin

Search Our Site

Article Index

 

The Bleadon and Hutton Caverns, West Mendip

A re-assessment

by David J. Irwin and Christopher Richards

Abstract

Each of the known sites on Hutton Hill, near Weston-super-Mare, is defined and placed in their historical context. Details of previously unrecorded events during the 1970s are given.

In modern times the naming and association of Hutton Hill caves to historic accounts has been confused and frequently misleading.  It came about following the discovery of three caves on Hutton Hill in 1970, 1973 and 1974 by the Axbridge Caving Group and Archaeological Society (ACG & AS). Each cave was subsequently extended on occasion by the Group until work ceased in 1976.  At the time of the opening of each site the ACG & AS thought that they had relocated the two long lost Hutton caverns first recorded and excavated by Alexander Catcott [1725-1779] in 1757.  The earliest of the two discoveries, known by a succession of names, was later identified to be the lost Bleadon Cavern and it was also soon realised, as a result of extensive research by Richards and Shaw, that the site known as Hutton Cavern (1973) was not the lost bone site but a previously unrecorded cave.  None of the caves relate to Catcott's notes and the numerous names by which these sites were subsequently known led to serious confusion.  Details of the fourth Hutton Cavern site, not associated with the Catcott caves, discovered in 1974 by ACG & AS are given for the first time in this paper.  The 1970 and 1973 caves are correctly listed in the Mendip cave guidebooks as Bleadon Cavern (note1) (ST35/3606.5813) and Hutton Cavern (ST35/3603.5816) respectively.(note 2,3)  Incorrect naming of these caves in other published material has led to the current muddle.  The caves are discussed separately and a bibliography is given for each is given in Appendix 1.

THE HUTTON HILL CAVERNS - IDENTIFICATION

Five caves are known to exist on Hutton Hill in the immediate vicinity of Maytree Farm and to avoid further confusion they will be designated Hutton Cavern -1, Hutton Cavern - 2, Hutton Cavern - 3, Hutton Cavern - 4 and Bleadon Cavern.

Hutton Caverns -1 and - 2, were opened by ochre miners in the 18th century and recorded by Alexander Catcott following a visit on the 10th June 1757.  Both sites are now lost.

Hutton Cavern - 3 (ST35/3605.5816) is described in Barrington and Stanton.  The entrance to this cave was sealed on instructions of the landowner in the late 1980s.

Hutton Cavern - 4 (ST35/3506.5818) were opened by ACG & AS in 1974 but the entrance was sealed by ACG & AS in the same year.

The fifth site is now known to be the lost Bleadon Cavern (ST35/3606.5813 )

A sixth site, not associated with the group just identified but has a similar name, is Hutton Hill Hole (ST35/3424.58l4).(note 4)  This was first opened in 1994 by the Bracknell and District.

Caving Club/ACG, (note 5) and is a separate site lying some half mile to the west in Hay Wood and is not considered further in these notes.

THE CAVES

Hutton Cavern -1

A certain Mr. Turner of Loxton (note 6) sent Catcott a small collection of Elephant's teeth & bones which made him aware of a bone 'pit' on Hutton Hill then recently opened by the ochre miners.  Catcott received the bones sometime between 27th August 1756 when he returned from a visit to Tenby in South Wales and the 23rd October 1756.  On this date Catcott wrote a letter to a Mr. Price which was subsequently published in the Gentleman's Magazine? (note 7) In it Catcott explained that he intended to excavate at the site at Hutton in the near future.  The planned excavation was delayed until 10th June 1757 when he travelled from Bristol to Hutton with his friend and companion, Mr. Gore.

Catcott and Gore entered the cave with the miner who had found the bones and by the end of the expedition Catcott had gathered together a sizeable collection of specimens. (note 8) During that day they met William Glisson, (note 9) an ochre miner from Loxton with whom Catcott was already associated following his visit to Loxton Cavern during the previous month.  Glisson informed the two men that the mining activities on Hutton Hill had commenced about 1739-1740.  He added that during the course of that time the miners had opened up a number of similar holes.  Catcott entered in his diary' ... The whole hill is full of Swallet holes.'

In the first edition of Catcott's.  A Treatise on the Deluge [1761] the bone site at Hutton is not mentioned for he had concentrated his literary efforts on an explanation and proof of the Deluge as told in the Scriptures. (note 10)

It appears that it was not until about 1761 that Catcott wrote in some detail of his visit. (note 11) This was in a letter to an unknown recipient. (note 12) Seven years later Catcott published a supplement to the 'Treatise' in which the first published account of the cave is given. (note 13) Hutton Cavern was also included in the account of his visit to the cave in the 1768 edition of the Treatise and which has been reprinted on a number of occasions.

The cave had been entered at a depth of about 25ft where a 20ft square bedding chamber was entered floored with a mixture of ochre and bone material.  A three foot square tunnel led downwards for about 50ft into the second chamber, this being about 30ft x 15ft followed by a further descent of about 10-12ft into the final chamber.  Catcott, in a letter to an unknown recipient, noted that the there were great quantities of bone and that: (note 14)

…the whole exhibited an appearance not much unlike the inside of a Charnel House. We staid in this place two hours and being well provided with implements dug out a vast number & a great variety of bones and teeth and different species of Land Animals, but finding the Roof began to yield and the sides much weakened we thought it not advisable to continue any longer but proceeded to return ... but with full intent to revisit the place as soon as it could be secured and propped up with wood-work. Before this was effected the whole fill in and the cavity rendered inaccessible.

Catcott is not known to have returned to Hutton Hill and the cave remained 'lost' until about 1828 when David Williams considered the possibility of re-opening the site. Catcott's geological collection had by that date been given to the Bristol City Library.

Williams, Rector of Bleadon, a local geologist and archaeologist had carried out extensive geological excavations at the famous Uphill Cavern, near Weston-super-Mare and becoming aware of Catcott's work in the Hutton Hill bone caverns, made an attempt to locate the site.  By this time many of the 'pit' entrances had collapsed making it difficult to determine which pit was the entrance to the bone cavern.  Help was forthcoming in the form of Catcott's unpublished c.1761 (note 15) description of Loxton Cavern then in the possession of an old friend, Mr. Richardson of Farleigh which proved of great assistance to Williams. (note 16)  An approximate location of the entrance was given as being .

.. about three hundred paces South of the Gate of a field called Down acres in the parish of Hutton.

Finding scraps of bone Williams became hopeful that he might well have found the spot. However, to start a major excavation would be a costly exercise if it were not the Catcott cavern.  Luck was with Williams when an old miner, William Jones, confirmed that the pit in which he had found the bone was indeed the place; for his help he was paid one shilling by William Beard.  Permission was given to excavate and, in conjunction with William Beard, work began on the 19th of September 1828.  John Webb and Isaac Coleman were employed to re-open the cave and when it was successfully achieved the men were kept in partial employment carrying out exploratory work in the cave. (note 17)  Confirmation that the cave they had opened was that explored by Catcott is given in Williams' account (note 18) of 1829.

After working some time, we opened what may be termed three chambers in the fissure, the floor of the one above forming the roof of the room below, consisting of huge fragments of rock, that have sunk away and jammed themselves between the strata, their interstices being filled with ochreous rubble and bones.

Beard's Notebooks (note 19) contain further details of the excavation and on occasion a number of important visitors went to the site including George Henry Law [1761-1845], the Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1829 and Sir Richard Owen [1804-1892] in 1850. The bones were distributed to William Buckland, the Bishop and to various institutions. Many specimens found their way into the collections created by both Beard and Williams. (note 20) Williams wrote a note to Rutter stating that the excavation was brief, lasting only six weeks. However, though Williams may no longer have been involved at the site Beard continued, albeit intermittently, the search on Hutton Hill, employing both Webb or Coleman, on separate occasions, until January 1831.  When work ceased the entrance was allowed to collapse and its location lost and remains so to this day.

 

Fig 1 Elevation of Hutton Cavern  1 : published in both Rutter and Phelps.

On February 16th 1829, David Williams wrote to William Patteson, Vicar of Shaftesbury, outlining his work at various bone caverns in the West Mendip area including Banwell Bone Cavern, Uphill Cavern and Hutton Cavern.  The letter was published as a pamphlet by John Rutter later that year. (note 21)  It was this work that was the source material for Rutter's description of Hutton Cavern and other sites, in his 'Delineations' and the 'Banwell and Cheddar Guide', both published in 1829. (note 22,23)

The Rev. William Phelps (note 24) in his 'History and Antiquities of Somersetshire', published in two volumes, relied on the Catcott, 1768 edition of the 'Treatise'.  A survey of the cave was drawn by Williams (note 25) and a wood-cut prepared from it by William Barnes (note 26) and used in all the 1829 publications of Rutter and in Phelps' 1836 'History and Antiquities of Somersetshire'.  There have been several reprints of Catcott's 1768 description of Hutton Cavern, three of them appearing in British Caver. (note 27.28)  During the first half of the 20th century at least two searches were made to locate the lost Catcott cavern but to no avail. (note 29.30)

Hutton Cavern – 2

Fig 2. Surveyors notes for the Bleadon Cavern 1833 survey.  Reproduced with permission of the Somerset Record and Archive Service .

This site is lost and was first recorded by Catcott in his diary entry for the 10th June 1757.  In it he wrote: (note 31)

About 40 yards West from the last hole [Hutton Cavern - 1] was opened another, of a similar nature, with ochre, bones etc. - @ about as deep. From this was dug a large long head of an animal; about 3 or 4 feet long: 14 inches broad at the top or hind part & 3 inches at the snout.

A mention of this site is made in the 1768 accounts of Hutton Cavern - 1 by Catcott. (note 32)

One of the men, that had been at work in these pits, brought me a collection of small bones that he had found in a pit adjoining .. The same person assured me that before I came down, he had found in digging in the same place the head of a strange animal that he believed was near three feet in length.

A similar account appeared the same year in a Supplement to the 1761 Treatise. (note 33) Since that time no definite mention of this cave is known except for a passing mention in Richards' 1974 paper. (note 34)

Hutton Cavern - 3

Hutton Cavern - 3 was originally an old mineshaft that was excavated by the ACG & AS and first entered in 1973.  The only published description of this site appears in Barrington and Stanton. (note 35) Initially it was thought, again, to be the lost cave - the Hutton Cavern - 1 known to Catcott.  However, it soon became apparent that this was not the case and, although it had been extensively mined for ochre, no previous record of its existence has been found.  The distinctive three superimposed chambers in the cave known to Catcott, Beard and Williams were not present and further no bone material was found in the ochre and other deposits.  The following account places on record for the first time the sequence of exploration.

In March 1973 an old mine shaft was cleared of infill by ACG&AS. This led into a natural cave passage, steeply sloping, reaching a depth of about 30ft below the surface where there were extensions left and right.  The sloping passage, and the extensions, were heavily choked with natural breakdown and ochreous fill together with detritus thrown into the shaft. To the right (north-east) digging led to the discovery in June of a small passage level at first and then rising over rocks thrown down through a blocked up mine-shaft connecting with the surface.  To the left (south-west) excavation was hindered by overhanging masses of loose debris up against the bottom of a steeply dipping limestone bed.  In September work was abandoned and the entrance shaft into the dig re-filled.

In May 1974 a filled-up shaft lying a few feet south-south-west of the first was cleared and part way down a passage was found leading away in a south westerly direction but partially choked.  Digging led to a breakthrough after about 15 feet on 12 May into the roof of a roomy passage extending south-west for about 25 feet.  The work of the ochre miners was obvious and there were signs that a bone deposit had been dug out.  From the point of breakthrough, and around a corner, a roomy chamber headed north-east and sloped upwards to a choke that lay at the bottom of the shaft that had just been dug out.  The candle-smoked initials "D W" were observed in the roof of the chamber.  Was the Rev. David Williams responsible for these?

The diggers thought that they had relocated the upper chamber of Hutton Cavern 1, and decided to look for a way on beneath the mass of debris on the floor of the chamber.  To do this the shaft first dug out in March 1973 was re-opened for the lowest point of that dig lay beneath the debris in the new chamber.

Efforts were made throughout the rest of 1974, and in 1975, 1976 and 1977 to find a deeper extension, not only under the chamber but in other places in the system.  It was during 1976 and 1977 that the Hutton Scouts became involved.  The shaft first attacked in May 1974 was sunk deeper to connect with the chamber so spoil could be hoisted to the surface.  However, no extension was found and the idea that Hutton Cavern - 1 had been found, evaporated.

 

Fig 3. Bleadon Cavern 1833 survey.
Reproduced with permission of the Somerset Record and Archive Service

Hutton Cavern - 4

A site, not previously recorded in Speleo-literature, was discovered in 1974 and lay a short distance from Hutton Cavern - 3.  This is the first time details of its existence have been published.  Its length is about 100ft and an overall depth of 35ft.

The site lay about 17 yards north-east of Hutton Cavern - 3. Digging by ACG&AS began in December 1973 and an infilled mine shaft cleared.  At a depth of about 10 feet a breakthrough was made on the 13th January 1974.  A small passage, showing signs of blasting, sloped down into a domed phreatic chamber about 6ft high and with a floor paved with stones by the miners. In the floor was a shaft about 15ft deep neatly walled around at the top with "deads" sunk into an ochre pocket.  No bone deposits were observed.  The entrance shaft was filled in again on the 10th February 1974 by ACG&AS.

 

Fig 4. Bleadon Cavern 1972 survey

Bleadon Cavern [Or Hutton Cavern Ii]

At the centre of all the confusion is Bleadon Cavern.  When it was re-opened in 1970 it was thought to be the 'lost' Hutton Cavern -1 and understandably called Hutton Cavern. (note 36)  As a result of further investigation following the publication of the CRG Mendip Bibliography Part II prepared by Shaw, (note 37) it became clear that the site was not Hutton Cavern - 1.  In 1973 the discovery of Hutton Cavern - 3 threw the thought processes into turmoil. The following year after an intensive study of available sources Richards reassessed the historical evidence of the 1970 discovery and published a paper on the subject in the Wessex Cave Club Journal. (note 38)  In this he re-named the site Hutton Cavern II in the belief that it was the second site excavated by Beard and Williams in 1833 and known to them as the Second Cavern on Hutton Hill as well as it being known as Bleadon Cavern.  Richards, though, went further and allied this site to the second site outlined by Catcott.

…we do not have the classical Lost Cavern of Hutton but we have re-found the lesser of the two caverns no discovered at about the same time (c.1740)…

No evidence has been found to suggest that this is the second Catcott cave, even though it had previously been entered by the ochre miners, other than assuming that only three caverns were known to exist at the time of Catcott's visit.  This must be wrong for the Glisson evidence shows that a number of caves had been found between c.1740 and 1757.  It could be any of them.

However, the matter did not rest there.  Confirmation that the site was the lost Bleadon Cavern came as a result of a study of a cave survey residing in the archive collection at the Somerset Record Office that had been produced in January 1833.  This survey was compared with that produced by ACG & AS shortly after the cave was opened and similarities were recognised by Trevor Shaw. (note 39)  The cave had been finally proved to be the re-discovery of Bleadon Cavern [or Beard's Second Cavern] a site first opened between c.1740, and as will be shown, not later than 1746, and excavated for the first time in 1833 by Beard and Williams.

During the exploration of the site a lower series was found. This was a new discovery unknown to the pre-20th century explorers.

Bleadon Cavern is unique from the other known Hutton Hill caves in that the cave plan area straddles the boundary of the parishes of Hutton and Bleadon and was known by this name simply because the entrance to the cave lay in Bleadon Parish.  During the Beard-Williams excavation two entrances were opened, the first in Hutton Parish.  This proved difficult to remove the bones so Beard ordered a second shaft to be opened - this lay in Bleadon Parish.  The 'Hutton' entrance was then sealed and re-opened by ACG & AS in 1970. The Bleadon entrance has not been re-opened but its location is known from underground evidence.  Relating this site to the 18th century discoveries by the ochre miners is difficult.  It may well be one of the many caves discovered before Catcott visited the area or it could be the second 'pit' noted in his diary [Hutton Cavern - 2]. All that is known is that Catcott's second cave [Hutton Cavern - 2] is 40 yards west of Hutton Cavern - 1 but as the latter site is lost there is no fixed point from which to start measuring. However, what is fact is that the cave had been worked by the ochre miners for the remains of a candle and smoke-marked date of 1746 were found by the ACG & AS explorers.  Thus the cave had to have been found between c.1740 and 1746 based up on Glisson's evidence.

On the 4th of January 1833 Beard commenced work on the 'second cavern' or Bleadon Cavern and worked at the site in two sessions.  The first was from 4th January- 2nd February 1833, and on the 15th January John Heal of Shipham was employed to produce a survey of the cave for which he was paid five shillings.  At the end of the first session Beard entered the following into his account book:

2nd Febry 1833
Paid Isaac Coleman for 6 days work        £ -        9          0 [nine shillings]
Gave him [Isaac Coleman] to have some Beer when I
finished my researches at Hutton & Bleadon hill where
I discovered a Multitude of bones             £ -        1          0 [one shilling]

Beard also knew the cave as the Second Cavern: (note 40)

Friday the 4th of Janry 1833.  I discovered the second cavern of Bones at Hutton hill.

Much material was removed and at the end of the first excavation Beard had amassed a sizeable collection and of sufficient importance that Buckland thought it necessary to visit Banwell to view them. Beard records the visit and identifies the landowner's name that is indecipherable on the survey of the cave.

Also on Friday the 26th of April 1833.  The Revd. Dr Buckland and the Revd D. Williams and the Revd. Mr. Lunn and Mr. Hyde Whalley paid me a visit to see my collection and last discovery which extended from the Ochre Pitts on a part of Hutton Hill under the boundary wall into Mrs. Fears allotment in the parish of Bleadon the distance of about 250 feet they was much pleased to see it.

Indeed was they?

Work recommenced again on 7th September and finally ceased on the 22nd March 1834. (note 41)

Miscellaneous Sites

Though Catcott discusses Hutton Cavern - 1 in his various papers he added that subsequent to his 1757 visit that Glisson had found several other bone bearing pits but none were identified; the subsequent discoveries by ACG & AS are probably some of these. (note 42)

A BRIEF REVIEW OF LATER SOURCES COMMONLY USED BY RESEARCHERS RELATING TO THE HUTTON FILL CAVES.

Strangely Phelps makes no mention of Bleadon Cavern though he records the activities of 1828 in Hutton Cavern -1 based on Rutter.  The discovery of bones in this cave are referred to in many local topographical and guide-books of the middle 19th century.

Buckland (note 43) reprints the Catcott 1768 account of Hutton Cavern - 1 and Dawkins (note 44) mentions it as an important bone site.  A problem is found in Knight's (note 45) account of the Beard-Williams excavation in Bleadon Cavern - this site is confused with the bone deposits found in a quarry close to the village.  The date given in Knight for the discovery of Hutton Cavern - 1 is given as 'about the year 1650' and should be discounted.

Balch too, totally confuses the situation in that to his knowledge there was only one bone site in the area and that in a local quarry.  Balch (note 46,47) compounds the problem by merging the bone finds from both Bleadon Cavern and that from the quarry which he calls Bleadon Cave.  It occurs in his Mendip: its Swallet Caves and Rock Shelters fold-out sheet entitled Man and the Wild Beasts on Mendip.

Gough in his Mines of Mendip uses Rutter and Knight as his historical sources and a reference is taken from Catcott's Diaries of tours.  Bryant & Philpot use Rutter and Phelps for their source material. Finally, the listing of Palaeolithic and Pleistocene sites published in 1989 should be amended to associate various papers to the correct sites. (note 48)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bleadon Cavern

Anon, 1970, Mendip News (Hutton Cavern) Cer SS Ntr 6(24)4; brief note on reopening Balch, Herbert E., 1937, Mendip - its swallet caves and rock shelters. Wells: Clare, Son & Co., 211pp, illus. figs, surveys

Barrington, Nicholas and Stanton, William, 1977, Mendip: the complete caves and a view of the hills. Cheddar: Barton Productions with Cheddar Valley Press, 236pp, illus., maps

Haines-Nutt, R. Frank and Mulvey, Christopher, 1963, Not in Barrington - or Oldham WCC Jnl 7(90) 199-207(Jun)

Irwin, David J. and Jarratt, Anthony R., 1993, Mendip Underground: a caver's guide [3rd ed] Castle Cary : Mendip Publishing, 240pp, illus., surveys, maps

Knight, Francis A. 1902, The Sea-Board of Mendip. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., xiv + 495pp, maps, illus., figs

Richards, Christopher, 1970, The lost cavern of Hutton - its rediscovery: a preliminary account. ACG Ntr 115-118(Sep), survey

Richards, Christopher, 1971, Notes on the 1970 Hutton Cavern Survey. ACG Ntr 90-91(Dec) Richards, Christopher, 1972, Notes on the 1972 edition ofthe Hutton Cavern survey. ACG Ntr 2526(Jul)

Richards, Christopher, 1972, Hutton Cavern : a reconsideration in the light of recent discoveries. WCC Jnl 12(142)110-118(Aug), survey

Shaw, Trevor R., 1972, Mendip Cave Bibliography. Part II Books, pamphlets, manuscripts and maps, 3rd century to December 1968. CRG Trans. 13(3) viii + 226pp(Jul)

Shaw, Trevor R., 1972, Hutton Cavern No.2: a plan of 1833. WCC JnI12(144)199-200(Dec), survey

Bleadon Cavern and Hutton Cavern - 1

Sanford, W. Ayshford, 1865, Notice of carnassial and canine teeth from the Mendip caverns, probably belong to Felis antiqua. Gool Mag, Ser 1 2,43 Read before the Brit Assoc. - ref also Rep Brit Assoc (34(1864)

Sanford, W. Ayshford, 1869, Rodentia ofthe Somerset caves [abstract] Q Jnl Geol Soc 25,444 Sanford, W. Ayshford, 1869, On the rodentia ofthe Somerset caves. SANHS Proc 15(2)5157(1868-1869), figs

Sanford, W. Ayshford, 1870, On the rodentia of the Somerset caves. Q Jnl Gool Soc 26,124-131, fig

Stoddart, W.W., 1870, The quaternary deposits ofthe Bristol neighbourhood. Proc Bristol Nats Soc, Ser 2 5,37-43, map

Hutton Cavern - 1

Anon, 1870, Beedle's popular visitors' handbook of Weston- super-Mare; with walks, rides, and drives in the neighbourhood. Weston-super-Mare: T. Beeble, 128pp, map, illus. Bristol Ref Lib Green Collection 7223 B.L. 16B2

Baker, W., 1850, Geology of Somerset SANHS Proc 1, 127-139 (1849-1850)

Balch, Herbert E., 1937, Mendip - its swallet caves and rock shelters. Wells: Clare, Son & Co., 211pp, illus. figs, surveys

Balch, Herbert E., 1948, Mendip - its swallet caves and rock shelters. London: Simpkin, Marshall (1941) Ltd., [vi] + 156pp, surveys, illus.

Bryant, T. Charles and Philpott, R. Antony, 1962, Hutton Cave. WCC Jnl 7(83)22-25, survey Catcott, Alexander, n.d., Description [sic] of Loxton Cavern. MSS. c.1761. Transcribed by c.J. Harford. Photocopy presented to Bristol Central Reference Library 1974 by Dr. H.S. Torrens, Dept. Geology, Keele University. 66ff 4to, illus. Originally belonging to Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution.

Catcott, Alexander, 1969, [Hutton Cave - from Treatise on the deluge, 1768] Brit Cav 52,36-37 Knight, Francis A, 1902, The Sea-Board of Mendip.  London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., xiv + 495pp, maps, illus., figs

Platten, Gerard [ed], 1948, Lost Mendip Caves Brit Cav 18,26-28

Oldham, Anthony D., 1963, The Caves of Mendip 2nd Edition. Additions, Errors, Corrections, Etc. WCC Jnl 7(88)153(Feb)

Sanford, W. Ayshford, 1864, Notice of carnassial and canine teeth from the Mendip caverns, probably belong to Felis antiqua (syn Pardus).  Rep Brit Assoc (34) Trans Sect, 69

Tratman. Edgar K., 1921, Field work Proc UBSS 1(2)95-97(1920/1921)

Williams, David, 1829, Some account of the fissures and caverns hitherto discovered in the western district of the Mendip range of hills comprised in a letter from the Rev. D. Williams ... to the Rev. W. Patterson. Shaftesbury: John Rutter, 16pp, surveys: mentioned. Ref Men Bib Pt II, No.867

Hutton Cavern - 1 and Hutton Cavern - 2

Catcott, Alexander, 1748, Diaries of tours made in England and Wales. MSS; 11 sheaf of loose papers, various sizes bound together. 17.5cm [1748-1774]. Sheaf 1 138p, sheaf 5 44ff : Bristol Ref. Library. B 6495. Strong Room IB3

Catcott, Alexander, 1768, A Supplement to a book, entitled a treatise on the deluge. Bristol: printed by Farley and Cocking, iv + 65pp, illus.

Catcott, Alexander, 1768, A treatise on the deluge ... London: printed for the Author by E. Allen, 421pp, illus.

Hutton Cavern - 3

Barrington, Nicholas and Stanton, William, 1977, Mendip : the complete caves and a view of the hills. Cheddar: Barton Productions with Cheddar Valley Press, 236pp, illus., maps

Hutton Cavern - 4

No details of this site has been published

Hutton Hill caves - unidentified

A[   ] ,F S, 1859, Mammalian Remains Geologist 2,219-220: extract from 1756 letter by Peter

Collinson to Gents Mag 1757, p.220 - discovery of Elephant's teeth

Stanton, William 1., 1950, Extracts from a diary of a schoolboy in Mendip. Part 1. Brit Cav 21,6572(Winter)

Acknowledgements

Our thanks to Chris Hawkes for the loan of a copy of Phelps, 1836, and to Ray Mansfield whose comments were invaluable.

D.J. Irwin, Priddy, Somerset.

C. Richards, North Somerset Museum Service, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

30th August 1997

Revised by D.J. Irwin,

8th February 1998

Notes

1.                  Originally the site was called Maytree Cavern after the name of the adjacent farm - a name not now used. When the ACG & AS researches commenced it was thought that it was the second site mentioned in the Catcott diary account - hence for a time it was known as Hutton Cavern. It was later realised that the site was in fact the lost Bleadon Cavern.

2.                  Barrington, Nicholas and Stanton, William, 1977, Mendip : the complete caves and a view of the hills. Cheddar:

Barton Productions with Cheddar Valley Press, 236pp, illus., maps

3.                  Irwin, David J. and Jarratt, Anthony R., 1993, Mendip Underground: a caver's guide [3rd ed] Castle Cary: Mendip Publishing, 24Opp, illus., surveys, maps

4.                  Norton, Michael, 1995, [Hutton Hill Hole] ACG Ntr [20](Summer/Autumn)

5.                  The Archaeological Society and the Caving Group decided to separate in 1976 for reasons relating to caving insurance. Since that time the caving section has been known as Axbridge Caving Group.

6.                  Possibly Rev. Turner, who was rector of Loxton at this time.

7.                  [Catcott, Alexander], 1757, [letter], Gentleman's Magazine Vol.27, Pt.1, p.199

8.                  Catcott, Alexander, 1748-1774, Diaries of tours made in England and Wales. MSS; 11 sheaf of loose papers, various sizes bound together. 17.5cm [1748-1774]. Sheaf 1138p, sheaf 5 44ff : Bristol Ref. Library. B 6495. Strong Room IB3

9.                  Catcott described Glisson as 'Lord Royal of the Hill'

10.              Catcott, Alexander, 1761, A treatise on the deluge ... London: Withers, xiii + 296pp, illus. general

11.              Catcott, Alexander, n.d., Description [sic] of Loxton Cavern. MSS. c.1761. Transcribed by C.J. Harford. Photocopy presented to Bristol Central Reference Library 1974 by Dr. H.S. Torrens, Dept. Geology, Keele University. 66ff 4to, illus. Originally belonging to Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. The location of the Catcott original letter is unknown, presumably lost.

12.              Stephens, J., 1761, Proposals for printing by subscription a work entitled The Natural History of Somersetshire. [dated February 16th, 1761]

13.              Catcott, Alexander, 1768, A Supplement to a book, entitled a treatise on the deluge. Bristol: printed by Farley and Cocking, iv + 65pp, illus.

14.              Catcott, Alexander, n.d., [as above]

15.              Catcott, Alexander, n.d., [see above]

16.              Williams, David, 1829, Some account of the fissures and caverns hitherto discovered in the western district of the Mendip range of hills comprised in a letter from the Rev. D. Williams ... to the Rev. W. Patterson. Shaftesbury : John Rutter, l6pp, surveys

17.              The first shaft opened was not the bone cavern but a passage leading away from it. The original shaft was subsequently found but considered unsafe and so a third was opened up. These are shown in the survey that appears in the Williams (1829), Rutter (1829) and Phelps (1836) publications cited elsewhere in this paper.

18.              Williams, David, 1829, [see above]

19.              [Beard, William]. 1824-1865. [Manuscript Note Books on the caves at Banwell, etc.] Taunton: Somerset Record Office, ref. no. D/P/ban 23/25.

20.              Bishop Law's geological collection was sold at auction in Weston-super-Mare on the 27th September 1860.  The fate of this collection is unknown.  The Beard and Williams' collections were purchased separately by the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society in 1864 and 1851 respectively.  The collections are now housed at the Somerset County Museum, Taunton but are not currently on view for the condition of the bones is in need of urgent restoration work. This is in the hands of specialists from the Natural History Museum specialists.

21.              Williams, David, 1829, [see above]

22.              Rutter, John, 1829, Delineations of the north western division of the county of Somerset, and of its antediluvian bone caverns ... London: Longmans, xxiv + 349pp, map, illus.

23.              Rutter, John. 1829, The Banwell and Cheddar Guide ... Shaftesbury: J. Rutter, [iv] + 78pp, surveys, illus.

24.              Pelps, William, 1836 and 1839, The History and Antiquities of Somersetshire. London: printed for the author by J.B. Nichols and Son. 2 vols [Vol. 1 published in 1836, Pt.1 - xiii + 192pp, Pt.2, vii + 599pp and Vo1.2 published in 1839, [3] + 272pp], maps, surveys, illus.

25.              Williams, David, 1829, [see above]

26.              Richards, Christopher, 1971, Notes on the 1970 Hutton Cavern Survey. ACG Ntr 90-91(Dec)

27.              Catcott, Alexander, 1966, [Hutton Cave - from Treatise on the deluge, 1768] British Caver (43) 15-19

28.              Catcott, Alexander, 1969, [Hutton Cave - from Treatise on the deluge, 1768] British Caver (52)36-37

29.              Tratman. Edgar K., 1921, Field work Proc UBSS 1(2)95-97(1920/1921)

30.              Duck, Jack W., 1937, Report for 1937 MNRC Rep (30)45-51, survey

31.              Catcott, Alexander, 1748-1774, [see above]

32.              Catcott, Alexander, 1768, A treatise on the deluge ... London: printed for the Author by E. Allen, 421pp, illus.

33.              Catcott, Alexander, 1768, A Supplement [as above]

34.              Richards, Christopher, 1972, Notes on the 1972 edition of the Hutton Cavern survey. ACG Ntr 25-26(Jul)

35.              Barrington, Nicholas and Stanton, William, 1977, [see above]

36.              For a time it was known as Maytree Cavern after its close proximity of a small-holding - Maytree Farm.

37.              Shaw, Trevor R., 1972, Mendip Cave Bibliography. Part n Books, pampWets, manuscripts and maps, 3rd century to December 1968. CRG Trans. 13(3) viii + 226pp(Jul)

38.              Richards, Christopher, 1972, Hutton Cavern: a reconsideration in the light of recent discoveries. WCC Jnl 12(142) 110-118( Aug), survey

39.              Shaw, Trevor R., 1972, Hutton Cavern No.2: a plan of 1833 .. WCC Jnl 12(144)199-200(Dec), survey

40.              [Beard, William]. 1824-1865, [see above]

41.              [Beard, William]. 1824-1865, [see above]

42.              Catcott, Alexander, n.d., [see above]

43.              Buckland, William, 1823, Reliquiae Diluvianae. London: John Murray. 1st ed., vii + [i] + 303pp, maps, surveys, illus. [1824, 2nd edition: no text change, identical pagination]

44.              Dawkins, W. Boyd, 1874, Cave Hunting. London: Macmillan & Co., xxiv + 455pp, maps, surveys, illus.

45.              Knight, Francis A., 1902, The Sea-Board of Mendip. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., xiv + 495pp, maps, illus., figs

46.              Balch, Herbert E., 1937, Mendip - its swallet caves and rock shelters. Wells: Clare, Son & Co., 211pp, illus. figs, surveys

47.              Balch, Herbert E., 1948, Mendip - its swallet caves and rock shelters. London: Simpkin, Marshall (1941) Ltd., [vi] + 156pp, surveys, illus.

48.              Mansfield, Raymond W. and Donovan, Desmond T., 1989, Palaeolithic and Pleistocene sites of the Mendip, Bath and Bristol areas. Recent bibliography. Proc UBSS 18(3)367-389(Nov)