‘It’s so brilliant’ – TV’s Tony Robinson puts Royston in the spotlight as he heads down to the cave in new Channel 4 show

Tony Robinson in Melbourn Street.

Tony Robinson in Melbourn Street. - Credit: Archant

People in Royston were thrilled to see one of the town’s most beloved attractions featured in a national television programme.

Tony Robinson enters the cave.

Tony Robinson enters the cave. - Credit: Archant

Royston Cave was one of the highlights of the first episode of actor, presenter and amateur historian Tony Robinson’s new show, Britain’s Ancient Tracks on Channel 4.

In the show, Tony explores the country’s ancient trackways and episode one focused on the mysteries and legends of Icknield Way – one of Britain’s oldest roads – which runs through Royston.

When he reaches the town, Tony is seen on Melbourn Street and says: “On the surface this may look like any other town centre but under the pavement beneath me is something strange.

“In 1742 workmen accidentally discovered a man-made cave with mysterious carvings.

Tony Robinson examines the cave's carvings.

Tony Robinson examines the cave's carvings. - Credit: Archant

“It’s so brilliant, and it’s just 50 miles from London – I hadn’t even heard of it.”

Tony goes into the bell-shaped chamber and inspects the carvings, noting that some are identifiable like those depicting St Christopher, and the crucifixion, but others, and the purpose of the cave, remain a mystery.

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Cave manager James Robinson was pleased it received national interest.

“Working with Tony was great,” he said.

“He was very professional and had a genuine enthusiasm for the cave which clearly came across in the programme.

“Since it aired there has been a tremendous surge in interest with our website and Facebook pages being visited more than normal, and we have had an increase in people wanting to organise special openings during the closed season.

“Having Tony come has been great for the cave and the town and accordingly we expect to be very busy for our candlelight opening on Saturday, December 3.”

For details this anything else to do with the cave go to www.roystoncave.co.uk.

Laura Whitford, who owns No.3 Royston craft shop in Melbourn Street, said: “It was amazing to see Royston on Channel 4 and especially to see Tony Robinson so excited about our cave.

“He’d never heard of it before and I was very surprised - I think we’d better all shout about it a bit more!”

Other sights captured in the programme are the Royse Stone and Therfield Heath, and you can check out the episode on Channel 4’s on demand service online at www.channel4.com, where it’s available for the next five weeks.