Attermire Cave

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Attermire Cave MYD3822 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Attermire Cave MYD3822 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Attermire Cave has been explored by antiquarians since the 1870s. It was extensively excavated in 1930 and 1931 and again in the early 1940s. The cave seems to have been used during the Neolithic and early Bronze Age, then abandoned and possibly blocked up until the Romano-British period. Twenty-eight Romano-British brooches of various types were found along with coins, bone items, a possible Roman lead bowl lamp and the dismantled remains of a chariot consisting of the iron wheel tyres, nave hoops and lynch pin. The cave itself is small and tunnel-like, located in a relatively inaccessible position in a limestone cliff. The unusual nature of the finds and the difficulty of access to the cave have led researchers to suggest that it may have been used as shrine during the Romano-British period. Some of the finds from the cave are now at the British Museum.


King, Alan (1970) ‘Romano-British metalwork from the Settle district of West Yorkshire’ Yorkshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 42 pp410-417


From Settle Market Place take Cheapside past the Tourist Information Centre. Bear right and follow the signs for Aireton /Malham. Follow this road for about 3/4 mile to a junction with a tarmaced lane (Stockdale Lane), and turn left. Go down the tarmaced lane which bends left towards a gate and ladder stile with a footpath to Atttermire Scar sign. Cross the stile and follow the clear path to a gate and footpath sign. Continue to a stone step stile with a yellow marker post and map of the access area. Cross the stile and turn right. Continue to a gateway. About twenty yards further on take the narrow path on the left which climbs above the scree. After about 90 metres the path turns sharply and steeply uphill. When the path reaches the botttom of a cliff turn left up a limestone path. Scramble up a rocky section to reach a path going right along a ledge. This leads to the cave entrance. On no account enter the cave - danger of falling rock.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Settle. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


Path rough and stony in places with some scrambling. Several stiles. You are advised not to enter the cave due to the danger of falling rock.