Royston Cave reopens for new season 280 years on from discovery

Royston Cave is reopening to the public with a packed itinerary of activities and events

Royston Cave is reopening to the public with a packed itinerary of activities and events - Credit: Royston Cave

Royston Cave has reopened for a new season, offering visitors the chance to descend deep beneath the town, discover the stories behind mysterious carvings and unearth the secrets of the town's past.

Some of the historic carvings on display at Royston Cave

Some of the historic carvings on display at Royston Cave - Credit: Royston Cave

This year marks the 280th anniversary of the cave's discovery, and to celebrate there will be a new way for visitors to get involved each month, as part of a year-long schedule of events and activities.

So far in its 'Year of Discovery', Royston Cave has introduced external talks for schools and larger groups, using their 360 degree digital cave experience and virtual reality headset.

They have also premiered the Royston Cave melody - a specially commissioned piece of orchestral music by award-winning Hertfordshire composer Harry Boulton - and published numerous articles online exploring the history of the cave and Royston itself, including transcriptions of some of the earliest drawings and studies.

Further special events, competitions and research projects are planned for the rest of the year. These include a report by Hertfordshire Geological Society, examining the origin and composition of the cave's chalk bedrock, and new events to celebrate Summer Solstice and Halloween.

There will also be a chance to win a luxurious and exclusive cave experience, and ground-breaking research will be commissioned to help unearth more of the cave's hidden secrets.

A spokesperson for Royston Cave said: "We believe that heritage and culture belongs to us all. So we are committed to ensuring Royston Cave is, and feels, accessible for everyone.

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"We are proud to be honouring this year’s anniversary by continuing to increase and diversify opportunity to experience Royston Cave and share in its story."

Royston Cave was discovered by accident in 1742, by workmen erecting a bench in the butter market above. The cave's origin is a mystery - many believe it was used by the Knights Templar, while others believe it was a hermitage, was used by King James I to practise Freemasonry, or was used as a chapel by Lady Roisia, after whom Royston is thought to be named.

The cave is open every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday until the end of September, and tickets can be booked online at https://www.roystoncave.co.uk/