English Riviera - Early Devon Explorers - William Pengelly's 200th Birthday – Born 1812
PUBLISHED: 16:13 12 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:53 20 February 2013
South Devon's English Riviera has a special reason to celebrate the 200th birthday of explorer William Pengelly. He was a British geologist and early archaeologist who excavated at Kents Cavern in Devon following earlier work done by John MacEnery.
South Devons English Riviera has a special reason to celebrate the 200th birthday of explorer William Pengelly.He was a British geologist and early archaeologist who excavated at Kents Cavern in Devon following earlier work done by Father John MacEnery.
Kents Cavern is one of Europes top prehistoric Stone Age caves with an extensive labyrinth of spectacular and easily accessible caverns open daily all year. It is the official underground visitor centre for UNESCOs English Riviera Global Geopark and features on the Agatha Christie Literary Trail as the inspiration behind Hempsley Cavern in her novel "The Man in the Brown Suit".
The excavations carried out by Pengelly and his team between 1865 and 1880 laid the foundation stone for modern archaeological work. Hemeticulously recorded every object found, its location and its level in the cave earth. "¨"¨Pengelly was a prolific writer and would send the results of his findingsand prehistoric artefacts to museums around the world. Some of theman-made hand axes his team unearthed have now been dated to 450,000 years old.
Kents Cavern Today A Fascinating Insight into the Past
Tours of Kents Cavern (approx 2 hours long) are led by entertaining guides concluding in an underground exhibition chamber. Plenty goes on in and around the caves all year including a woodland trail quest, kids' archaeological dig area, hands-on cave art walls and regular appearances by the attraction's mascot Cavog the Caveman.
Located only 250 metres from two of the English Rivieras most beautiful coves, Meadfoot and Ansteys, the caves are a popular starting point for circular walks along sections of the famous South West Coast Path. There is a gift shop and restaurant serving Devon Cream Teas, a bar and attractive gardens.
Underground theatre and evening entertainment are specialities here. The ghost tour and the interactive Shakespeare plays are particularly popular. At Christmas the caves are warm and dry and the Santa quest is a great reason to enjoy a family winter break on the English Riviera.
For more information on what to do and where to stay on Devon's English Riviera visit