Medieval Cave House Surveyed in Central England

England Cave HouseDERBYSHIRE, ENGLAND—CNN reports that a cave house in central England may date to the early ninth century. Researchers from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and Wessex Archaeology surveyed the Anchor Church Caves and found that the rooms cut from the sandstone have narrow doorways and windows resembling those found in Saxon architecture. Edmund Simons of RAU said that one of the rock-cut pillars is similar to one in a nearby Saxon crypt, making the cave one of the country’s oldest surviving domestic interiors. The rooms may have been home to St. Hardulph, who ruled Northumbria until A.D. 806 as King Eardwulf, he added. As a deposed king, Eardwulf lived as a hermit until his death in A.D. 830. The study also determined that the caves were eventually modified in the eighteenth century by local landowner Robert Burdett to accommodate fashionable dinner parties. To read about how a summer 2018 drought revealed the layout of a seventeenth-century garden on a Derbyshire estate, go to “The Marks of Time: Country House.”


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