Department for Environment and Heritage

Blanche Cave

A majestic giant

Limestone formations in Blanche Cave

Limestone formations in Blanche Cave

Blanche Cave was discovered by early settlers in 1845, and became a popular destination with locals.

It was often used as a picnic area or for other social functions. Even elaborate gardens were planted in its depths.

While such use is limited

nowadays to protect the natural values of the cave, occasional cultural events such as "Carols by Cavelight" are still held in the first chamber.



A highlight was the Olympic Torch visiting on July 18th 2000, to a backdrop of 1,500 tea-light candles.

1912 gardens in Blanche Cave
A 1912 photograph of gardens planted the cave

More recently, the cave provided a superb setting for a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummers Night's Dream.

 

 


 

The cave consists of three enormous chambers, with daylight streaming into the cave via three large roof collapse 'windows'.

Significant megafauna fossil deposits are contained within the cave and ancient marine fossils are visible in the cave walls. Gigantic columns and stalagmites fill the chambers.

Olympic Torch-bearers in Blanche Cave   Shakespeare in the Cave

The Olympic Flame is passed from torch to torch


Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream was presented in the cave
Click on picture to enlarge (63Kb)

During the winter months, bats sleep in the 'dark zone' of the cave beyond the third window and can be seen huddling together.

Fossilised shells

Shell fossils in the cave wall

Roof collapse window in Blanche Cave

A roof collapse window lets light into Blanche Cave, allowing plants and ferns to grow

 

Blanche Cave can be visited on guided tours, where visitors learn about the rich natural and cultural history of this grand old cave.

Walkway at entrance to cave

Entrance to Blanche Cave

Guided Tours of Blanche Cave are available

Guided tours of Blanche Cave are available
Click on picture to enlarge (105Kb)

 

World Heritage