One of the things that Kerry misses over here is the grandchildren. But she now has time to knit so all of those having children (Ben and Phadera, Damien and Barbara, Robert and Dana) are the beneficiaries of her cluckiness as she knits shawls for all of these new borns. We purchased the pattern (and the first lot of wool) in Sheringham in Norfolk. Then having pulled her hair out over the difficulty of the square shawl she decided to knit the round pattern, ran out of wool bought more wool in Buxton in Derbyshire only to find it was not the same shade of white and the pattern seemed to be inaccurate and she abandoned the trial. Purchasing more wool she set sail into her second shawl.
Now all this is to tell you how we ended up back in Buxton visiting Poole’s Cavern. She needed more wool for the third shawl.
Poole’s Cavern can be found in Buxton itself. The Cavern has been known about for centuries but only really became a tourist Poole’s Cavern attraction in the 19th century. The cavern has been sculptured by water over the centuries and archaeological finds show it has been used by pre-historic cave dwellers, romans and highway men like Mr Poole who has given the cavern his name. The first explorers would have trekked through forest and climbed through a narrow opening into the cavern where they would have used candle light to climb over the rock strewn floor of the cavern to marvel at the stalactite and stalagmite formations. Then an inventive Victorian opened the cavern entrance and paved a path through the cavern installing the first gas lamps as he went. This work no doubt interfered with the natural environment but it also gave us the access to the cavern we enjoy today.
The cavern is home to various types of bat but they are shy creatures and are rarely seen by visitors. There is a feature of the cavern which has the scientific population in a stir. Certain Stalagmites which are phallic in shape are growing in decades not centuries and there is argument as to how that can happen. Above the cavern is Grin Low hill which over the 18th century was home to Lime burners. One theory is that it is the accumulation of this lime in the soil which activates the fast growth of the stalagmites. Whether true or not it is spectacular to see a forest of penises all with a yellow head poking their heads to the roof of the cavern.
Now once again we had the pleasure of an exclusive tour due to the time of year and the weather. Notwithstanding the weather, the guided tour and the visit to the cavern is well worth the trip.
While we were on tour the guide informed us of some of the dignitaries who visited down the ages and told us they had all stayed in a particular hotel in Buxton – The Old Hall Hotel, claimed to be the oldest surviving accommodation hotel dating back to the 17th century. So we visited the hotel (which backs onto the baths) and at the same time looked over the Opera house. On the way home we stopped at Ashbourne for afternoon tea. Photos of Buxton and Ashbourne follow.
Kerry did get her wool so all orders for a shawl will be fulfilled.