Pen Park Hole

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Pen Park Hole
Map showing the location of Pen Park Hole
Map showing the location of Pen Park Hole
Location Southmead, Bristol, UK
OS grid ST 5853 7922
Coordinates 51°30′38″N 2°35′56″W / 51.510421°N 2.598882°W / 51.510421; -2.598882Coordinates: 51°30′38″N 2°35′56″W / 51.510421°N 2.598882°W / 51.510421; -2.598882
Depth 61 metres (200 ft)
Length 250 metres (820 ft)
Altitude 76 metres (249 ft)
Discovery 1669
Geology Limestone
Access locked, controlled by Bristol City Council

Pen Park Hole is a large cavern situated underground, at the edge of Filton Golf Course. The cavern was discovered accidentally in the 17th Century. The first descent into the hole was by Captain Sturmy on the second of July, in the year 1669.

The entrance is adjacent to the Southmead and Brentry housing estates of north Bristol. Access is tightly controlled by Bristol City Council.

On 17 March 1775 Reverend Thomas Newnam of Redcliffe Church fell to his death while attempting plumb the depth when the tree branch onto which he was holding broke. His body was recovered 17 days later.[1]

The cave consists of some short climbs, and a few chambers, the last of which is a very tall rift chamber with a lake that changes height by as much as 20 metres. Side passages contain impressive dogtooth spar. The cave was formed by rising geothermal water (and is one of the best examples of a hydrothermal cave in the UK or Ireland), making it far older than other caves in the area, at around 190 million years old.


  1. ^ G.J. Mullan (1993). "Pen Park Hole, Bristol: A reassessment". UBSS Proceedings (UBSS) 19 (3): 291–311. 

External links[edit]

Pen Park Hole (2013)

UK Caves - Pen Park Hole (2011)