Kent's Cavern    by Karen Durant  



Tourist attraction - prehistoric caves


holiday cottages Kents Cavern is situated in Ilsham Road in Wellswood and is just around the corner from our cottage in Torquay, Rosalia. Today the caves are a tourist attraction and they are open all year round. Visitors can take guided tours which are offered daily. Prices are 8.95 for adults, 7.95 for children over 3 years old, students or OAPs and a family ticket can be purchased for 31. The caves are also offered for childrens' parties and weddings.

The caverns and passages are more than 2 million yeras old and have been home to prehistoric people. The caves have been known as an archaeological site since the late 1500s through the inscriptions found on stalagmites there: "William Petre 1571" and "Robert Hedges 1688". The biggest display of the finds can be found at the Torquay Museum.

Now used as a tourist attraction Kents Cavern has been owned by the Powe family for over 100 years. It was originally part of the Lord Haldon estate and was sold to Francis Powe in 1903. Francis Powe was a carpenter who used the caves as a workshop while he constructed beach huts for the Torquay sea front. It was Francis' son Leslie who turned the caves into a tourist attraction by installing electric lighting, concrete paths and visitor facilities. These were improved upon by his son in turn John Powe. The caves are now owned by Nick Powe and attract more than 80,000 visitors per year.

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