HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Historic England research records Result
Historic England research recordsPrintable version | About Historic England research records

Historic England Research Records

Bracelet Cave

Hob Uid: 197104
Location :
Somerset
Mendip
St. Cuthbert Out
Grid Ref : ST5227048340
Summary : A rock shelter extending about 12 feet back into the cliff face. Excavations circa 1955-6 recovered the bones of at least nine individuals which have been regarded as being of Romano-British date because of their apparent association with Romano-British potsherds. However, Branigan and Dearne argue that there is no evidence to support this dating, and suggest that the Bronze Age is more appropriate. They make no mention of the pottery. Two chert blades have been described as Upper Palaeolithic, having been found in a "typical Pleistocene red earth deposit". However, a later date may be equally plausible. The cave's name relates to the discovery of a later Bronze Age gold bracelet in December 1955. The precise circumstances of its discovery are uncertain. An Inquest Jury decided that the bracelet was not treasure trove, and the bracelet was subsequently retained by the then landowner, the late Wing Commander GW Hodgkinson. A replica is at Wookey Hole Museum. Presumably it is this bracelet which suggested to Branigan and Dearne a Bronze Age date for the human remains?
More information : [ST 52274834] Fragmentary human bones were found in a
small rift or cave during haphazard digging in November 1955.
Outside the cave at a depth of 2 ft a plain gold bracelet with
trumpet shaped ends and probably of mid to late Bronze Age
date, was found. The bracelet is not necessarily connected with the bones, and no pottery or other items were found. The
bracelet is in the possession of Wing. Cmdr Hodgkinson, Wookey
Hole. (1)

The cave is at ST 52284833. The bracelet is now in the
possession of Mrs. Hodgkinson and a replica is on display at
Wookey Hole Museum. (2)

'Bracelet Cave' is a rock shelter extending about 12 ft back
into the cliff-face. In excavations pre- and post-1956 the
bones of at least 9 individuals were found, associated with RB
pottery of 1st and 2nd centuries. The interior space was small,
the amount of pottery scant, and there were only few food
animal bones, so probably the cave was used only for burial.
Two chert blade implements of Upper Palaeolithic type were
found unstratified beneath a vertical natural chimney at the
inner end of the chamber. The bracelet was found in December
1955 about 6" from the rock-face on the NW side of the entrance
and about 20" below the original surface level; the area of the
find was undisturbed by RB deposits, and no other BA items were
found. The bracelet was a Late BA type and was probably lost,
rather than hidden, when fairly new (4). (3-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Corr 6", 1955/6, (E.K. Tratman)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JP 18-JUL-66
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Inf. E.J. Mason Westbury on Trym
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : British caving : an introduction to speleology
Source details :
Page(s) : 321-2
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details : Mason, EJ. Excavation of a Rock Shelter, Bracelet Cave, at Hope Wood, Ebbor, Wookey Hole.
Page(s) : 11112
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 116, 1972
Source Number : 4
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details : Haldane, JW. A gold bracelet from Hope Wood, Wookey Hole.
Page(s) : 99-101
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 113, 1969
Source Number : 4
Source : A gazetteer of Romano-British cave sites and their finds
Source details :
Page(s) : 150
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Upper Palaeolithic
Display Date : Upper Palaeolithic
Monument End Date : -10000
Monument Start Date : -40000
Monument Type : Rock Shelter
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Rock Shelter
Evidence : Enhanced Natural Feature
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Rock Shelter
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence

Components and Objects:
Period : Upper Palaeolithic
Component Monument Type : Rock Shelter
Object Type : BLADE
Object Material : Chert
Period : Bronze Age
Component Monument Type : Rock Shelter
Object Type : BRACELET, HUMAN REMAINS
Object Material : Gold
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Rock Shelter
Object Type : HUMAN REMAINS, VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 2/44/15
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 13267
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 54 NW 34
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 197107
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : BRACELET CAVE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 54 NW 34
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1966-07-18
End Date : 1966-07-18