Kitley Show Cave

Kitley Cave - Kitley Shelter Cave

Useful Information

Location: Yealmpton, Devon. From Stray Park follow the trail along the east end of the wood to the river Yealm. The cave is a few yards from the river bank in a small quarry. (NGR NX5750 5125)
Open: closed.
Fee: closed.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: electric.
Guided tours: L=15m, D=30min.
Bibliography: R. C. Bray (1964): Caves of Yealmpton, South Devon, Plymouth Caving Group Special Publication no. 3, 1964
Pete Glanvill (1993): Devon News, Descent nr.113, Aug/Sept 1993: 14-15 (photos, survey).
Address: Kitley Cave, Yealmpton, South Devon, Tel: +44-1752-880885 or +44-1752-872196
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.


1970 opened to the public.
2000 closed to the public.


Kitley Show Cave is a rather small cave, but it is very interesting because of the multiple archaeological finds. Remains from the Stone Age include human artifacts and bones of elephant, hippo, hyena and cave bear, but also Bronze Age artifacts were found in this cave. The Stone Age finds are shown in nearby Museum.

Unfortunately this cave has been closed in 2000 after beeing open to the public for 30 years. At the moment there are no plans to reopen the cave, but as this may change in the future wee will leave this page. It is possible to walk to the cave and have a look through the gate, there is an official trail which includes the small quarry with the cave.

The cave has a long history as a show cave. It was originally opened up in the eighteenth century after it had been discovered by quarrying. Recently it has been reopened and one can take a self-guided tour, going in one entrance, through a series of grottoes, and emerging through a second entrance. The educational side of speleology is emphasised and expianatory sigas indicate features of interest. The cave is situated in a nature reserve, well stocked with local wildlife. There are signposted nature trails alongside the beautiful Yealm estuary. As an added attraction there is a 'stockade' with goats, ornamental pheasants and wild fowl. Every effort has been made to make this a full day's outing and not just a 30 minute visit.

Text from: Tony and Anne Oldham (1972): Discovering Caves - A guide to the Show Caves of Britain. With kind permission by Tony Oldham.