Members of Crewkerne & District U3A’s Geology Group visited one of the most important paleolithic cave systems in Europe when they travelled to Kents Cavern near Torquay. The group were taken on a guided tour of the caves, sculpted by nature from the Devonian limestone formed 370 million years ago, when Torquay was under the sea and south of the equator.
The caves and spectacular stalactites and stalagmites which grow slowly at only one centimetre every 500 years were created by water gushing through as a river and seeping through the fissures in the limestone. Deposits of dissolved minerals had also caused some interesting colouration of the rocks. 37 members of the geology group were told about the geology of the caves and the archaeological finds that have been uncovered over the past 200 years. The guide explained that the finds included tools and bones of humans from as far back as 700,000 years ago – making them the oldest found in Britain and in north west Europe.
At the end of their guided tour, there was a display of mock-ups of some of the caves ancient dwellers. Liz Randall, member of the U3A’s geology group said: “It was an informative, thought provoking insight into the history of Kents Cavern.”