Stump Cross Caverns

Useful Information

Location: Greenhow Hill, Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire. On the B6265, between Pateley Bridge and Grassington. Well signposted.
Open: MAR to NOV daily 10-18, last tour 16:45.
DEC to FEB Sat, Sun, Hol 10-18, last tour 16:45.
Fee: Adults GBP 6, Children (4-13) GBP 3.95, Children (0-3) free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightColoured Light
Dimension: L=2,000m
Guided tours: L=800 m, D=20 min.
Bibliography: G. Gill (n.y.): Stump Cross Caverns,
Harry Long (2000): Stump Cross Caverns: Official Guide to the Show Cave, 22 pp illus, survey.
Geoff Workman (2007): 105 Days Below, A World Record Underground Camp at Stump Cross Caverns, Your Questions Answered by Geoff Workman.
First edition 2007, 24 pp, 15 photo (10 in colour). No ISBN.
Address: Gordon and Sue Hanley, Stump Cross Caverns, Greenhow, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate HG3 5JL, Tel: +44-1756-752780, evenings: +44-1423-711282
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.


1858 discovered by lead miners, sinking a shaft near Stubbe or Stump Cross, at a depth of 15 meters.
1963 Geoff Workman established a new world record by staying underground for 105 days.


Stump Cross Caverns is located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The exploration of Stump Cross Caverns has yielded a richness of animal remains, dating back some 90.000 years. The cave has a video room with a 20-minute video about the area, caves and potholing.

This cave hit the headlines in 1963 when Geoff Workman established a new world record by staying underground for 105 days. It is on three levels, and Mr Workman spent his time trying to extend the lower level. The show cave is situated in the upper level.

The cave is illuminated by fluorescent and coloured lights, and the visitor is permitted to wander round in his own time, without a guide.

The formations in this cave have been extensively coloured by trace elements of minerals, seeping down from the earth above, and this, combined with the coloured lights, gives a most curious effect,

The cave was discovered by miners searching for lead. Their original shaft is no longer used. Today's visitor enters via a flight of steps in a specially constructed entrance. Although there is no guide it is impossible to get lost, as the way is well-marked.

There are many interesting and unusual formations, including the "Twins" a pair of stalactites, which have grown down to reach a stalagmite boss on the floor, and the "Hawk" a stalagmite, which looks like a watchful bird of prey. However, the formation for which the cave is most justly famous is known as the "Sentinel", a column 9 feet 6 inches high and estimated to be at least 10,000 to 15,000 years old.

At the end of the caves some of the reindeer bones, part of a collection of 300 bones excavated in 1955, have been displayed.

The show section is only a small part of this interesting and complex series of caves, and it is to be hoped that in the future the route will be extended, as that part which the visitors do not see is equally as good as that which they do.

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