DISCOVER THE SECRET WORLD BENEATH THE FOREST
Open to all ages are our nine awesome show caverns, full of exciting things to discover. All you need is a pair of sensible shoes and a sense of wonder and we’ll provide the rest.
The caverns are a chronicle of thousands of years of mining at Clearwell Caves and you can still meet the local Forest Freeminers here – men whose birthright entitles them to dig for iron ores and precious ochres still found here today.
THE SILENT CAVE DWELLERS
The caves are home to a variety of bats including greater horseshoe, natterers and long-eared bats. It is unlikely you’ll spot one of our hidden inhabitants on your adventure, as they are most active on warm evenings after they’ve come out of hibernation. Luckily, the constant temperature and lack of disruption in the Clearwell Caves mine system, provides an ideal sanctuary for the bats, which have been in serious decline elswhere in the UK.
CHILDREN AT WORK
As more mined caverns have been uncovered over the years we have discovered many artefacts that record the history of the mines and show that children as young as seven – known as ‘billy boys’ – would use a ‘billy’ or hod to carry 60-70lbs of ore at a time. If you’re feeling strong, you can test your strength down the mine and see just what 60-70lbs feels like.
THE PIT THEATRE CHAMBER
This large cavern has been used to host some amazing events and wonderful underground theatre, even wedding parties. Please check our events page for upcoming opportunities.
Like our nocturnal residents, you can now experience how sound reverberates against the cavern walls. Play an instrument crafted from an old air receiver found in the cave; create a beat and fill the cavern with sound and activity, as it was in its mining past.
Press the red button to hear a standing wave, creating loud and quiet areas as you walk around the cavern, creating a sound landscape, just like bats do!
Discover a pool of tranquillity deep underground and come face to face with the ancient creatures of the area as they are brought back to life upon the very walls of the caves they went on to form 350 million years ago. You might even discover a hidden skeleton!
FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DR WHO AND MERLIN
A space this unique naturally provides the kind of magic and wonder that works so well on film and video, which is why over the years we’ve played host to the filming of programmes such as His Dark Materials, Cursed, Britannia, Dr Who, Merlin, The Chronicles of Narnia, Da Vinci’s Demons, Kidnapped, The Changes and many others.
THE LAMPROOM CAFÉ
A destination in its own right, the Lamproom Café sits above ground as the only marker for the adventure taking place below. With homemade soups, sandwiches, cakes, leaf teas and all your favourite coffees; our café is yet another delightful discovery hidden amongst the trees of the Forest.