Jack Cade's Cavern

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Blackheath Caverns in about 1833

Jack Cade's Cavern[1][2] is a cavern, extending several hundred feet underground, in Blackheath, south-east London, England. It is located northwest of the Heath and southwest of Greenwich Park, mostly beneath the lawn of Hollymount Close. It was re-discovered in about the year 1780.[3] They are also referred to as the Blackheath Caverns.[4] The entrance was at the end of a row of small cottages called "Cavern Cottages" at the rear of Trinity Church on Blackheath Hill,[5] (destroyed in WWII).

Dimensions[edit]

Entered by a flight of forty steps,[6] it consisted of three or more separate caverns joined to one another by tunnels. The first or main cavern is roughly circular and about 35 ft in diameter. Leading from this is another about 60 ft by 30 ft.[6] There is a long, winding passage leading to a chamber which is about 24 ft by 21 ft, varying in height from 6 ft to 11 ft 6 in, with a well of pure water, 27 ft in depth,[3] although in 1939 this was found to be 21 ft, partly brick lined and quite dry.[7] At its lowest it is 170 ft from the surface.[6]

Further reading[edit]

  • History of Lee and its Neighbourhood by F.H. Hart pp. 90-91[5] Perhaps this has best description of the cavern.[6]
  • Kentish Mercury Almanac, 1903[5]
  • The Ambulator, 11th edition, p.49[5]
  • Underground passages, caverns, etc. of Greenwich and Blackheath, a lecture by J.M. Stone to the Greenwich Antiquarian Society, 26 February 1914[5]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Jack Cade" was the leader of a popular revolt in the 1450 Kent rebellion which took place in the time of King Henry VI
  2. ^ www.shadyoldlady.com The location of the last known entrance to Jack Cade's Cavern.
  3. ^ a b Old and New London, Blackheath and Charlton, Volume 6, pp. 224-236. by Edward Walford, 1878
  4. ^ The Archaeological mine, antiquarian nuggets relating to Kent by A.J. Dunkin, Vol. 1 No. 7, 1855
  5. ^ a b c d e Caverns At Blackheath, Letter to the editor by Mr. G. W. Younger, The Times, 31 Oct 1939, p.4, col D
  6. ^ a b c d Underground passages, caverns, etc. of Greenwich and Blackheath, a lecture by J.M. Stone to the Greenwich Antiquarian Society, 26 February 1914
  7. ^ Caverns Found At Blackheath Air-Raid Shelters Ready Made, The Times, 27 Oct 1939, p. 5, col B

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°28′24″N 0°00′40″W / 51.4733°N 0.0112°W / 51.4733; -0.0112