Cat Hole Cave

Cathole Cave

Useful Information

Location: Between Llanelli and Parkmill. Follow the road from Parkmill north toward Llanelli, at Parc Le Breos trail on the other side of the road.
(51.590728, -4.111877)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: C. McBurney (1959): Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society vol.25 (1959), 260-69.
RCAHMW, Glamorgan Inventory vol.I (1976), p.19-20.
S. Green, E. Walker (1991): Ice Age Hunters, NMW Cardiff, 1991
Address: Cathole Cave, Ilston, Swansea SA3 2EH.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1864 first explored.
1958 cave excavated by C. McBurney.


Cat Hole Cave is a rather small wild cave which is famous for the archaeological excavations made here. Today it is empty and as it is a small horizontal cave big enough to walk in upright it is very easy to visit. Cat Hole Cave is located near the famous cairn Parc Le Breos or Parl Le Bruce Burial Chamber, a neolithic burial hill. There are two cave entrances, one is gated with an iron bar gate. The other cave is accessible, a long passage with several chambers.

This cave was occupied during the Upper Palaeolithic by hunters. It was located south of the southern rim of the Ice Age glaciation. The oldest findings seem to two tanged points, which are probably 28,000 years old. However, most of the finds of Late Glacial age (12,000 BP) and include burins, scrapers, flint awls, and a needle and awl of bone. Faunal remains include red fox, arctic fox, brown bear, tundra vole and possibly reindeer. The cave was again used by Mesolithic hunters. During the Bronze Age the cave was used for burials, during the excavation scattered human remains and sherds of burial urns were found. The most impressive finindings were probably a bronze socketed axe and two human skeletons.

Although the cave is rather easy to visit we recommend a helmet and a headlamp. Sturdy shoes and appropriate clothes are a good idea too.