Jack Cade's Cavern


Jack Cade's Cavern

The location of the last known entrance to Jack Cade's Caverns.

Location: 77 Maidenstone Hill, Greenwich, London

Description: There are cavern's underneath this area, very old and very colourful caverns. They were created by chalk quarriors, or limeburners who in the 17th century dug out enormous quantities of the chalk. So much so that one William Steers, in 1677, was fined the large amount of 40 for undermining the Kings Highway (Blackheath Hill) and causing wagons to overturn.

In 1780, a builder uncovered the vertical entrance, and realising he had stumbled on a goldmine (almost) he built a cottage at the entrance and cut 40 steps into the side of the cave. He then charged sixpence for admission and the caverns soon became a fashionable curiosity.

However, business came to an abrupt halt after a 19-year-old girl, Lucy Talbot, was overcome by noxious fumes in the well chamber and was carried fainting into the open air where she died shortly afterwards.

Because of this sad event a ventilation shaft was cut by the proprietor and a pair of bellows installed which circulated fresh air.

Things picked up again, a chandelier was hung from the roof, a bar was built in the largest cavern and it was used for drinking parties. There were lurid stories of unclothed lady dancers and, human nature being what it is, these gatherings rapidly got out of hand. Outraged authorities filled in the entrance in 1854.

They were opened up again from the garden of this house in 1938 by sinking a shaft, with the thought of locating a massive air raid shelter. It didnt happen in the end.

Now in April 2002, the appearance of a mysterious crater in a carriageway in Blackheath Hill caused traffic chaos. It's thought this was caused partially by the original cavern system. See photo below.

Themes: SubterraneanSubterranean Theme
Jack Cade's Cavern

The location of the last known entrance to Jack Cade's Caverns.

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Credits: The Mercury

Rumour has it the Hellfire Club used to meet down there, and even created some lurid murals to decorate the cavern. Is that true? (Henry P Loveart)
Posted by Henry P Loveart on 2007-06-25

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London's Public Stalactites», 5.9km

A bit of Belfast in London», 3.8km

Churchill's Paddock», 11.km

Thames Ironworks», 2.4km

Jack Cade's Cavern», 0km

St Katherine's Dock Marina», 3.5km

The Boat Race», 11.km

London's Longest Pier», 8.1km

TV on the South Bank», 4.8km

Wapping Pier Head», 3.0km

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