Roman artefacts from Victoria Cave

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Bone 'spoon brooch' from Victoria Cave MYD36681

Bone ‘spoon brooch’ from Victoria Cave MYD36681

As well as providing important evidence for early climate change in the Yorkshire Dales, Victoria Cave was also the find spot for a remarkable range of Romano-British artefacts. Along with pottery, some imported from as far away as France and Africa, the 19th and early 20th century excavators found iron work, copper alloy brooches, glass and jet beads, bracelets and enigmatic bone ‘spoon brooches’. Finds came from deep inside the cave as well as on the sheltered platform outside.

Archaeologists have speculated for years as to what exactly was going on in the cave. The first assumption was that Romanised refugees from some unknown local disturbance were using the cave as a hideout. More recently the finds have been reassessed and it now seems likely that the inside of the cave was being used as a shrine while the platform outside and just inside the mouth of the cave, may have been used as a workshop area. There is evidence for both bone, leather and metal working. Some items from the cave are held at Craven Museum.


Dearne, Martin J & Lord, Thomas C (1998) The Romano-British Archaeology of Victoria Cave, Settle. Oxford: BAR British Series 273


Private collection and The Craven Museum, Skipton. See for opening times.

Public Transport Details

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


Craven Museum is fully accessible. See for further details.