Situated between Wharfdale and Nidderdale in the beautifully rugged county of North Yorkshire, Stump Cross Caverns provide a wonderfully atmospheric and genuinely interesting place to visit. It’s a truly delightful break from the tourist norm.
The History of Stump Cross Caverns
They were discovered completely by chance in the year 1860 by Messrs William and Mark Newbould who had been prospecting for lead in the Yorkshire Dales. It wasn’t until some 60 years later that they were explored more fully and during the 1920s started to become a popular tourist destination and the years that followed saw the introduction of a gift shop and tourist centre to provide information for the many visitors that came to the site.Millions of years ago what is now the Yorkshire Dales was submerged under an ocean. The sediment from this ocean created limescale and over time this hardened. When the limestone was hit by acid rain some 500000 years ago the caves were formed and this is the basis for what you can see when you visit.
The Cave Site
There are the show caves which are open to the public, but away from that the system actually spans a further 6 km. Most of this distance is only traversable by cavers of considerable experience, but in the future it’s hoped more will be made safe and available for the public to visit.
There are remains of a Wolverine, Reindeer and Bison on display at the visitor centre. It is thought that these long extinct animals had made their way into the cave to search for food and died there!
Planning a Visit to Stump Cross Caverns
The caverns are situated on the B6252 near Pateley Bridge. The road is easily accessible by car and there is also a bus service that runs to the caves. The caverns opening times are between 10 am and 6pm every day between the months of February and December. During winter months the caves are only open at weekends. Admission for adults is £7 and for children £4.50. Under fours get in for free.