Pen Park Hole
Southmead, Bristol
For More Information

The text on the site is based in large part on the account of the cave written by Graham Mullan and published shortly after the cave was reopened in 1993: Pen Park Hole, Bristol: A reassessment. Proceedings of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society. 19.3. pp.291-311.

The rather strange poem that describes Captain Sturmy's descent and meeting with the Goblin of the Cave can be found on this page.

Further Reading

Information about this and many other local caves can be found on the excellent resource provided by the Mendip Cave Registry and Archive. This includes more photographs and a comprehensive bibliography.

More Pictures

A set of excellent photographs taken by Steve Sharp in the Main Chamber can be found on this site.

The Mendip Cave Registry and Archive has a set of historic photographs taken in the cave during the 1960s.

Further Viewing

The cave has now made a number of appearances on UK television.

In 2003, the cave featured in the television series Secret Underground Bristol produced by RedWeather Productions of Bristol. They have kindly made their footage available for us to show here. Copyright © remains theirs, of course.

In 2017, the cave featured On the BBC's Inside Out West series. This can also be viewed here Copyright © remains with the BBC.


The books and papers referred to on this site, mainly in the History and Geology sections are listed here, along with other articles about the site. Links are given, where known.

  • ALABASTER, C. 1982. Journal of the Somerset Mines Research Group. 1. 4. p.28.
  • ANON 1843. Felix Farley's Bristol Journal. Saturday April 29. p.4.c.3.
  • ANON 1876. West Country Legends: A Collection of Traditionary and Superstitious Stores of the West of England and Wales. No. XXXVI. THE GOBLIN'S CURSE. A Legend of Pen-park Hole, near Bristol. Bristol Mercury and Daily Post. Saturday September 27. p.6 c4.
  • ANON 1883. Daily Bristol Times and Mirror. 5 May, p.2. c.2.
  • BEAUMONT, J. 1685. A Letter from Mr. J: Beaumont of Stony-Easton in Sommersetshire to One of the S. of the R. S. concerning a New Way of Cleaving Rocks Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 15. 167. pp.854-5.
  • BOYCOTT, A. 1992. Cave References in John Aubrey's Monumenta Britannica. Newsletter of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society. 8. 3 pp.5-9.
  • BRISTOW, C.M. 1963. The Geological Report, in Tratman, 1963 op.cit.
  • C.T.D. 1887. Gloucestershire Notes and Queries. 3. p.261.
  • CATCOTT, A. 1757-[1767?]. Fossil Journal, Unpublished manuscript in Bristol Reference Library.
  • CATCOTT, G.S. 1792. A Descriptive Account of a Descent Made into Penpark Hole. Bristol. J. Rudhall.
  • CATCOTT, G.S. 1842. Pen-Park Hole. Bristol. H. & A. Hill, printed for Bristol Mechanics Institution.
  • DUVAUCEL, M. 1828 Account of the Great Cavern of Boobon in the Cossyah Mountains. Edinburgh Journal of Science XVII. pp.51-53
  • FARRANT, A.R. and MULLAN, G.J. 2008. Novel use of radio-location for a ground investigation at Pen Park Hole, Bristol UK. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology. 41. 3. pp.333-338.
  • FORD, D.C. and WILLIAMS, P.W. 1989. Karst Geomorphology and Hydrology. London Unwin Hynam, pp.282-285.
  • FORD, T.D. 1989. Paleokarst of Britain, in Paleokarst ed. P.Bosak. Academia Prague. pp.59-64.
  • HAMILTON, D. 1966. Disseminated Galena in Rhaetic Shales at Almondsbury, near Bristol. Proceedings of the Bristol Naturalists' Society. 31. 2. for 1965. pp.221-224.
  • HALSTEAD, L.B. and NICOLL, P.O. 1971. Fossilized Caves of Mendip. Studies in Speleology. 2. pp.93-102.
  • HENTON De ANGELIS, S. 2016. What lies beneath: new SSSI flags up subterranean geoheritage. Earth Heritage Extra. 4. pp.1-3.
  • HOOKE, R. 1678. Lectures de Potentia Restitutiva. London. pp.40-41.
  • HOOVER, H.C. and HOOVER, L.H. 1950. Georgius Agricola, De Re Metallica. New York. Dover Publications. Inc. p.119.
  • HUNT, R. 1978. A Historical Sketch of British Mining. Wakefield. EP Publishing. p.137.
  • HUTTON, R. 1989. Charles the Second. Oxford University Press.
  • H. V. 1911. The Mysteries of Pen-Park Hole. Bristol Times and Mirror. May 29.
  • J.K.L. 1968. Dictionary of National Biography. IV. Oxford University Press. p.823. reprinted 1968.
  • KELLAWAY, G.A. 1967. The Geological Survey Ashton Park Borehole and its Bearing on the Geology of the Bristol District. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Great Britain. 27. pp.49-154.
  • KELLAWAY, G.A. and WELCH, F.B.A. in litt. The Geology of the Bristol and Somerset Coalfield. Memoirs of the British Geological Survey.
  • LATIMER, J. 1887. The Annals of Bristol in the Nineteenth Century. Bristol. W. & F. Morgan p.269.
  • LOWTHORP, J. 1705. Philosophical Collections to the end of 1700. Abridged. 2. pp.370-1.
  • MANWARING, G.E. 1924. Captain Samuel Sturmy. Mariner's Mirror. 10. pp.395-9.
  • MARSHALL, J.E.A. and WHITESIDE, D.I. 1980. Marine influence in the Triassic Uplands. Nature. 287(5783). pp.627-628.
  • MULLAN, G.J. 2016.The unique status of Pen Park Hole. Descent. 252. pp.32-5.
  • MULLAN, G.J. 2018. Pen Park Hole, Bristol. In Geological Sites of the Bristol Region Bristol. BRERC. pp.189-193.
  • NICHOLLS, F.J. 1880. Pen Park Hole. A Roman Lead Mine. Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archeological Society. 4. pp.320-8.
  • REYNOLDS, S.H. 1931. British Pleistocene Mammalia. III. IV. p.27.
  • REYNOLDS, S.H. 1938. British Pleistocene Mammalia. III. VI. p.42.
  • RIEUWERTS, J.H. 1983. Cromford Sough and the Early Use of Gunpowder. Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society Ltd. 8. 5. pp.315-29.
  • ROLLASON, J. 1963, Jills Cave — Westbury on Trym. Belfry Bulletin. 183. pp.3-4.
  • RUDDER, S. 1779. A New History of Gloucestershire. Cirencester.
  • SHAW, T.R. 1962. Lamb Leer in the Seventeenth Century. Proceedings of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society. 9.3. pp.183-7.
  • SHAW, T.R. 1979. A History of Cave Science. Crymych. A. Oldham. p.23.
  • SIMMS, M.J. 1990. Triassic Paleokarst in Britain. Cave Science 17. pp.93-101.
  • STANTON, W.I. 1981. Further Field Evidence of the Age and Origin of the Lead-Zinc-Silica Mineralization of the Mendip Region. Proceedings of the Bristol Naturalists Society. 41. pp.25-34.
  • STANTON, W.I. 1991. The Habitat and Origin of Lead Ore in Grebe Swallet Mine, Charterhouse on Mendip, Somerset. Proceedings of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society. 19.1. pp.43-65.
  • STANTON, W.I. and CLARKE, A.G. 1984. Cornish Miners at Charterhouse on Mendip. Proceedings of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society. 17.1. pp.29-54.
  • SOUTHWELL, R. 1683. A Description of Pen-Park-Hole in Glocestershire. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 13. 143. pp.2-6.
  • TRATMAN, E.K. 1963. Reports on the Investigations of Pen Park Hole, Bristol. Cave Research Group of Great Britain Publication No 12.

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