The Devon Karst Research Society.
The Homepages for the
CATTEDOWN BONE CAVES,
Cattedown, Plymouth, Devon, England, U.K.

Section  17.0.    BURNARD'S CATTEDOWN BONE CAVE,
SPARROW'S CARPENTER ROCK QUARRY, CATTEDOWN.

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Text revised on 17 March 2006.
17.1.....INTRODUCTION :
In the last decade of the 19th century, Sparrow's Carpenter Rock Quarry was in the possession of a Mr Lewis Sparrow, who was in the business of limestone quarrying both for the production of dimensional stone for building purposes and for the production of lime. "Carpenter Rock" was a prominent feature of the original natural coastline of the Cattedown Peninsula, now totally removed by quarrying.
Section 5. of the Cattedown Bone Caves Webpages offers details of the cave excavations of 1899, carried out at the request of Mr Lewis Sparrow by Mr Robert Burnard. The excavations were undertaken in a cave at quarry floor level.
In connection with the cave, Mr Robert Burnard reports "Communicating with the cavity from the surface was a distinct fault or cleft in the rock, through which these relics of a far distant past must have been washed."

The purpose of this Section 17. is to offer further details of the extant cave. This objective will not be completed for some time. As additional information comes to light, it will be published herein. Furthermore, it is proposed that the extant cave is to become Phase 5. of the "Cattedown Bone Caves Heritage Site" Project, the beginning stages of which are now underway. Further information on the inclusion of Burnard's Cattedown Bone Cave in this Project will be given in due course.

We have (as yet) no 1899 contemporary detailed views of the quarry face or of the cave. However, we have found two monochrome images of this part of the karst peninsula fronting the Cattewater, as recorded from the opposite shoreline at Turnchapel.

The amount of quarrying that can be seen in Photo 17.1. (opposite), is quite astonishing. A large rift-type cave can be seen in the quarry face directly opposite the camera position.
This view was taken to record ferry activities in the foreground at Turnchapel in 1895, rather than activities at Cattedown on the opposite shore!

Again, in Photo 17.2. (opposite), more directly opposite Sparrow's Carpenter Rock Quarry, the commercial development in the intervening 36 years in the now disused quarry is plain to see. The oil industry is now present with its associated infrastructure and railway connections.
Also, there are some interesting features in the quarry face behind the infrastructure.
 

Photo 17.1.
A view looking along the main quarry face of Sparrow's Carpenter Rock Quarry (extreme right) and the Victoria Wharves Quarries (centre and left)
fronting onto the Cattewater as recorded from the opposite shoreline at Turnchapel.
(Photo :  unknown, 1895.)

Photo 17.2.
A more direct view of the main quarry face of Sparrow's Carpenter Rock Quarry fronting onto the Cattewater as recorded from the opposite shoreline at Turnchapel.
(Photo :  unknown, 1931.)
17.2.....LOCATION OF SPARROW'S CARPENTER ROCK QUARRY :
The location of Sparrow's Carpenter Rock Quarry can be best described as being the first quarry area immediately west of the Cattedown Wharves and immediately below the Cattedown Road which runs along and follows the line of the top of its northern border.
 
 
Photo 17.3.
A view looking along the main quarry face of Sparrow's Carpenter Rock Quarry.
(Photo :  B. Lewarne, 11 June 2003.)
17.3.....LOCATION OF BURNARD'S CATTEDOWN BONE CAVE :
The location of the extant parts of Burnard's Cattedown Bone Cave is in the main quarry face above and to the west of the Bitumen Plant. There are other apparently separate caves within this quarry but again, we must reiterate that these are all parts of the same cave system.

Interestingly, the extant cave is situated in the quarry face which bounds the largest surviving "unimproved" area of the original Cat Down.

Click on the Link below to go to 

Cattedown Bone Caves, Section 5.
The Cave Excavations of R. Burnard, 1899 at "Burnard's Cattedown Bone Cave",
in Sparrow's Carpenter Rock Quarry, Cattedown.

Photo 17.4.
A view looking along the main quarry face of Sparrow's Carpenter Rock Quarry, showing the location of the extant
parts of Burnard's Cattedown Bone Cave.
(Photo :  B. Lewarne, 11 June 2003.)
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