Poole’s Cavern is one of the Peak Districts most popular attractions with its stunning two million year old show cave which is home to some truly amazing stalactites and stalagmites. The cave and its surrounding Buxton Country Park and Grin Low are home to a variety of wildlife and hold some suprising and fascinating facts… enjoy 🙂
1) The cave is home to the longest stalactite in Derbyshire at 7 ’long and approx a staggering 100,000 years old. The largest stalagmite in Derbyshire is also here, ‘The Font’ which is also 7’ high.
2) The cave has the fastest growing stalagmites recorded in the UK, due to lime waste tipped in the 18th century on the hill top at Grin Low. The lime enriched water can create one centimetre of growth per year – that’s around 50 to 100 times faster than most stalactites!
3) The unique Poached egg stalagmites record annual growth rings, just like trees do. Trapped in each layer are isotopes and particles from the atmosphere which can me monitored to record climate change.
4) Two of the cavern’s stalagmites are currently on holiday. One in New Zealand at the laboratories of Auckland University being sampled for climate data, the other is in Texas USA being dated for information on ice age floods.
5) The cavern has recorded several species of bats using the cavern to roost and hibernate, These are Daubenton’s, Whiskered, Brown short eared, Brants and Natterers bats. None of these bite you on the neck…but the guide might!
6) If you walk from Poole’s Cavern to Solomon’s temple you climb 300’!
7) The cave itself is about 2 million years old and is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest
8) The river which flows through Poole’s Cavern is the source of the Derbyshire River Wye. It actually starts on Axe edge before disappearing underground on Stanley moor. It next appears one kilometre and four hours later in Poole’s Cavern. For decades cavers have searched in vain for a way into the secret cavern which must lay beneath Grinlow where the river travels on its hidden journey.
9) The first visitor came to the cavern around 3,500 years ago and they left their picnic behind; some wild boar bones, some horse and red deer (found in excavations). They don’t serve any of this in their cafe these days though…
10) Solomon’s Temple rises from the centre of an ancient burial mound and during the tower’s construction an archaeological dig here revealed several Bronze Age skeletons from the ‘Beaker’ period, along with later Roman items.
11) The name allegedly derives from an outlaw – Poole, who reputedly used the cave as a lair and a base to rob travellers in the fifteenth century.
12) The cave system is believed to extend further, but has not been explored. In 1998 a video camera lowered down a borehole revealed the existence of a further chamber, branded “Seventh Heaven”.
13) Early travellers followed a route guide known as the’ Wonders of the Peak’ published in 1636 taking in the first wonder of Poole’s Cavern along the way.