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Were the caves a Victorian invention?

THE Sunday Mercury article on the eerie Caynton Caves makes enjoyable reading. I especially enjoyed it because it rang a bell with me.

I recall thumbing through some Victorian Parish Magazines of the parish of Brereton and finding that in July 1883 the church choir from here visited the caves on an outing to the Caynton Hall home of General The Hon. Arthur Charles Legge.

The article claims that the cave had been "hewn out of the solid rock by General Legge himself," which probably means he paid workers to do it for him. So it seems the caves are mid-Victorian in origin.

Were the I rather like the description of the "exceedingly pretty", lamplit interior being heightened when "the General proceeded to light different coloured limelights".

caves ". No doubt artist Sketch would be interested in this.

Victorian General Legge, 1st Life Guards (1800-1890), was a brother of the 4th Earl of Dartmouth, who moved the family seat from Sandwell Hall to Patshull Hall (not far from Caynton) in 1848. invention? His only daughter married the Vicar of Brereton in 1880, hence the connection between Caynton and Brereton (the whole choir from Brereton was transported to Beckbury Church near Caynton for their marriage ceremony).

Gen Legge and his wife are buried in Brereton churchyard with his daughter and other family menbers, and I attach a photo of their graves. The church porches at both Beckbury and Brereton are memorials to the General.

HARRY THORNTON, Brereton, Rugeley


EERIE: Dominic Wass in Caynton Caves at the bottom of his garden, and (below) the graves of Gen Legge and his wife.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 29, 2012
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