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Historic England Research Records

Badger Hole

Hob Uid: 197049
Location :
Somerset
Mendip
St. Cuthbert Out
Grid Ref : ST5324047950
Summary : A cave with a large entrance which leads via communicating passages to a large inner chamber. The entrance is high in the eastern face of the Wookey Hole Ravine. The cave was first discovered in 1938, and excavated over a number of years by HE Balch. Its interior deposits proved to have been extensively disturbed by badgers. Further excavations occurred in 1958 (C McBurney) and 1968 (J Campbell). Finds include Palaeolithic flints, including scrapers, awls, saws and leaf points; Palaeolithic animal remains, including mammoth, woolly rhinocerous and hyena; and a quantity of Roman finds including pottery, coins, and a bronze fibula. A number of iron objects including nails may be quite recent. Human remains recovered from Badger Hole had been regarded as belonging to the Early Upper Palaeolithic. However, direct accelerator dating of the human bones have produced dates ranging from circa 9000 years bp and 1500 bp.
More information : [ST 532479] BADGER HOLE [GT]. (1)

Badger Hole is a high level cave situated above Hyena Den [ST532479]. It was first excavated in 1938 and subsequently by Balch, who discovered stratified evidence of human occupation. In the top two feet a 3rd cent. Roman coins was found, together with hundreds of fragments of Romano-British pottery. A foot lower Aurignacian flint implements including knives and a lance head were revealed, associated with a series of Pleistocene Animal remains including Mammoth, Woolly rhinoceros and hyena. (2)

In 1958 a sounding was made some distance from the main overhang at the cave entrance. A number of artefacts, and a considerable number of Pleistocene fauna were revealed. (3).

The main finds are in Wells Museum. (2-4)

Badgers Hole is at ST 53244795.

The finds are on display in Wells Museum. (5)

Excavations at Badger Hole,1968, by J Campbell (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : O.S. 6" (provisional), 1960
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Balch, HE. 1947. The Great Cave of Wookey Hole, in The Mendip Caves p78-83
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Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Early man in Britain and Ireland: an introduction to Palaeolithic and Mesolithic cultures
Source details :
Page(s) : 87
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : Antiquity
Source details : Chamberlain, AT. More dating evidence for human remains in British caves.
Page(s) : 950-3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 70, 1996
Source Number : 3
Source : Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 264-265
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 25, 1959
Source Number : 4
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 92
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 107, 1950
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JP 19-JUL-66
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : The Upper Palaeolithic of Britain: a study of man and nature in the Late Ice Age
Source details :
Page(s) : 49FF
Figs. : 10, 11
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Romano-British cavemen : cave use in Roman Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 100
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 19
Source Number : 8
Source : A gazetteer of Romano-British cave sites and their finds
Source details :
Page(s) : 119-20
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Wells Natural History and Archaeological Society annual report, together with the annual reports of the Mendip Nature Research Committee and Museum reports
Source details : McBurney, CBM. Two soundings in the Badger Hole near Wookey Hole in 1958, and their Bearings on the Palaeolithic finds of the late HE Balch.
Page(s) : 19-27
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1961
Source Number : 10
Source : The Palaeolithic of Britain and its nearest neighbours : recent trends
Source details : Stringer, CB. The British Fossil Hominid Record.
Page(s) : 59-61
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : vol.1

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Upper Palaeolithic
Display Date : Upper Palaeolithic
Monument End Date : -10000
Monument Start Date : -40000
Monument Type : Cave
Evidence : Subterranean Feature
Monument Period Name : Mesolithic
Display Date : Mesolithic
Monument End Date : -4000
Monument Start Date : -10000
Monument Type : Cave
Evidence : Subterranean Feature
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Cave
Evidence : Subterranean Feature
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Early Medieval
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 410
Monument Type : Cave
Evidence : Subterranean Feature

Components and Objects:
Period : Upper Palaeolithic
Component Monument Type : Cave
Object Type : ANIMAL REMAINS, SCRAPER (TOOL), AWL, SAW, LAUREL LEAF
Object Material : Flint
Period : Mesolithic
Component Monument Type : Cave
Object Type : HUMAN REMAINS
Object Material :
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Cave
Object Type : BROOCH, VESSEL, COIN, HUMAN REMAINS
Object Material : Pottery, Bronze
Period : Early Medieval
Component Monument Type : Cave
Object Type : HUMAN REMAINS
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 2/44/41
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 13257
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 54 NW 15
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, BADGER HOLE/JEEP PIT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1938-01-01
End Date : 1954-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BADGER HOLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1958-01-01
End Date : 1958-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 54 NW 15
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1966-07-19
End Date : 1966-07-19
Associated Activities : Primary, BADGER HOLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1968-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31