Here in the Witch’s parlour (also known as Chamber 3), great forces have created a beautiful dome shaped cave.

The pale limestone and brownish-red conglomerate is stained vermilion with iron oxide, black with manganese, grey from the lead once mined on the Mendip Hills above.

Once upon a time this area was under a great ocean. Microscopic sea creatures swam in its waters, and their shells eventually became calcium carbonate, or limestone, which settled on the bed of the ocean and hardened into the rock you can see today.

Powerful internal pressures squeezed that ocean bed like a crumpled rug to form the Mendip Hills. As the rain fell on these hills, so it began to dissolve the weaknesses in the rock, little by little widening cracks, eating into softer parts, turning into rivulets and streams.

These streams became the River Axe. It broke through fissures in the great blocks of limestone, swirled around huge beds of the conglomerate, and worked away to enlarge the caverns, always seeking new shafts and tunnels down into the earth and eventually back into the sunlight and the sea at Weston-super-Mare.

All the time the dissolved limestone in the water was itself reforming, creating dripping stalactites, building up great stalagmites, and turning into curtains and waterfalls of shining crystalline stone known as calcite.

Now though, this Chamber is often chosen by couples wishing to get married in a beautiful underground location and is often used by choirs who delight in the wonderful acoustics.

Explore our other chambers…