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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
20th November 1906 George Bernard Shaws Doctor's Dilemma, premieres in London
20th November 1898 John Fowler, English engineer (London Metropolitan Railway), dies
20th November 1852 Charles Reade/Tom Taylor's Masks and Faces, premieres in London
Dick Turpin's Cave
The likeliest site for Highwayman Dick Turpin's Hideout.
Location: Wellington Hill, High Beech, Epping Forest
Description: Turpin's Cave is attributed as an area of Epping Forest north of Loughton that's purported to be a hiding place of highwayman Dick Turpin. Localboy Turpin knew Epping Forest well and apparently organised many criminal activities from a base between the Loughton Road and Kings Oak Road.
After an incident in May 1737, Turpin is reputed to have escaped to Epping Forest, where he hid according to accounts in a cave.
He was seen by Thomas Morris, a servant of one of the Forest's keepers close to what is now The Robin Hood pub. Morris armed with pistols, attempted to capture Turpin on 4 May; Turpin however shot and killed him with a carbine. The murder was reported in The Gentleman's Magazine.
The terrain in most of Epping Forest comprises Bagshot Beds, which are sand and gravel and not solid enough to provide habitable caves such as those depicted by legend.
This site is not the only cave associated with Turpin. There is also a Turpin's Cave at the edge of Bostall Woods in Plumstead and one near Rammamere Heath at Aylesbury.
The legend lingers on!
Tagged in this Tour: Dick turpin