News and Events

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An important message from Dave Green BCA’s CEO

Dave Green, BCA CEO talks to John Philips about the reasons why BCA is seeking an alcohol licence for its Visitor Centre on Green Lane

Dave Green clarifies BCA's reasons and position on their recent application to extend their premises licence to enable them to sell alcohol from Poole's Cavern Visitor Centre.

Dave Green, BCA CEO talks to John Philips about the reasons why BCA is seeking an alcohol licence for its Visitor Centre on Green Lane

Breaking News: treasure discovered in secret passage of Poole’s Cavern!

A discovery of treasure in an unexplored passage at Buxton’s famous show cave has got everyone wondering ‘could this be the legendary outlaw Poole’s long-lost hoard?’

An exciting and historical discovery has been made at the famous Buxton limestone show cave known as Poole’s Cavern, thrusting the site into the spotlight and setting hearts racing and imaginations running wild.

News broke this morning of a supposed hidden treasure trove uncovered deep within the cavern's remote passages over the Easter weekend, sparking a frenzy of excitement among the staff and regular visitors. Could it be the legendary outlaw Poole’s long-lost hoard?

Poole was an outlaw from Staffordshire who used the cave in the early 15th century to elude the search of his pursuers, crossing into Derbyshire, beyond their county jurisdiction. He reportedly hid his booty of stolen gold coins, gemstones and jewellery in the cave. No known documentation has survived, but his legend has been passed down over the centuries and so tied to the cave that it still bears his name.

Cryptic clues

According to the reports, an unexplored tunnel was stumbled upon by a group of cave explorers who claimed to have followed a series of cryptic clues discovered after analysis of signs etched into the cavern's walls had been undertaken: photos, like that below, can be seen in the exhibition space at Poole’s Cavern Visitor Centre. Previously thought to be Victorian graffiti, the signs and scrawled signatures are now thought to date back beyond the 15th century.

Image: The marks on the wall that led to the discovery. Source: Buxton Civic Association

Unexplored passage

After navigating through some of the upper passages in the cave, which are not normally open to the public, they stumbled upon a previously unexplored side passage. Robin Irwin who was leading the group takes up the story.

“We were surprised by the passage as it did not appear on any of the maps or diagrams that we have. The passage was small and only one person was able to enter. It was really more of an enlarged crack in the wall. We also noticed that at the end of the passage there was a sign, similar to the ones we had been analysing, etched onto the rocks”

Intrigued, the group agreed to return to the spot the next evening and brought with them some digging tools.

Wooden box

It was clear that the floor of the passage had been disturbed and, after about an hour of digging and scraping, the group hit a wooden box.

“You can only imagine our excitement.” Robin continued.

Carrying the box back to the Visitor Centre, they debated whether to open it or to seek specialist advice. In the end, excitement won the day and the box, which was in a very fragile state, was carefully opened.

Just as the legend says, a hoard of gold coins, gemstones and jewellery lay within!

Image: A picture of the Poole’s Cavern hoard. Source: Buxton Civic Association

Also inside, resting on top and wrapped in a wax cloth, was a document in a reasonable state of preservation. It was hard to decipher the scribbled words written on it, but it purported to be from a Solomon Poole and, from the brief fragments of legible writing, it was understood to be a record of the exploits of his father, Adam Poole, the notorious outlaw of legend.

Dave Green BCA CEO commented
“This is a fantastic find for us at Poole’s Cavern and for the town. It will fit in perfectly with our exhibition plans and the opening of the new displays next year.”

This is the first contemporaneous record found of Poole and, as such, could be considered the real treasure.

Scientific analysis

The group, after the initial excitement of hitting the jackpot subsided, began to carefully remove the items of precious treasure. Or so they thought.

Before the fragile document could be photographed, water was accidentally spilt on it and it dissolved! Confused, the group poured more water on it and it completely disappeared!
Concluding that it must have been made of rice paper or sugar paper, attentions turned to the gold coins. After careful, forensic analysis, biting one to check it was real gold, they turned out to be made of out of chocolate!

And just to top it off, the ‘jewellery’ was seemingly made out of spun caramel, the ‘gemstones’ from candied sweets and the ‘wooden box’ out of painted sugar-paste.

Either someone has been practicing for a bake-off competition, or they’ve played a prank! Honestly, who would think of such a thing on the first day of April?

Discover the real treasures for yourself

By now, the discerning reader will have realised that this is our contribution to April Fools’ Day. We hope you enjoyed our little bit of fun.

But why not come and visit us and discover the real treasures of the famous show cave for yourself.

To book tickets, go to the link below.

If a treasure hoard ever was discovered in Poole’s Cavern, one of our first ports of call would be the Buxton Museum & Art Gallery.

Sadly, it is still closed. If you would like to show your support for the museum, please sign the petition set up by Vision Buxton. Click on the link below.

BCA Members Event

Thursday April 18th at 6.30 pm Members and Staff Quiz Night

Why not join us for our members and staff for our quiz night on 18th April at 6,30 pm at the Poole's Cavern, Visitor Centre, Green Lane, SK17 9DH.

BCA members free entry, Non Members £5.

Book tickets on the Eventbrite post at the end of this post.

Wilding in the Park and BCA Woods

High Peak Borough Council, Buxton Field Club and BCA are working together to increase the biodiversity in the Serpentine Walks

It's world rewilding day today, 20th March, so we are celebrating some of the work being done in the town to help improve the biodiversity in the town.

BCA are working to increase the biodiversity in their woods and make them better for nature

Buxton Museum

We cannot let the museum become a thing of the past

Dave Green, CEO of Buxton Civic Association says,

“There seem to be ideas and expertise that are being ignored. Without discussion and dialogue we can’t help find a way forward, and the ongoing lack of communication is disrespectful to the citizens of the town."

Please read the press release below and sign the petition.

Further events are planned so keep an eye out for updates.

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

Press Release about the closure of the museum

How the Wye was re-wilded

Richard Lower from the Buxton Town Team will tell us how the Wye has been rewilded as it flows through Ashwood Park in Buxton.

21st March 2024 at 6.30 pm in the Café at Poole’s Cavern Visitor Centre.

Richard Lower will talk about the exciting work that has been done to re-wild the Wye as it flows through Ashwood Park in partnership with Clare Millard, Buxton Town Team and Waterside Care, part of Keep Britain Tidy in the Midlands and a host of volunteers.

The event is free. To book tickets go to Eventbrite See link below

The talk will last around an hour.

Helping Buxtons’ Lapwings

With the breeding season almost upon us it is really important that we protect some of our vulnerable birds

Last week we received a message from a concerned member about the potential plight of Lapwings around Bishops Lane.

BCA member Karen King wrote

"Hi, I would like to bring to your attention an issue in the Civic Association owned fields off Bishops Lane. The issue concerning nesting lapwings and the use of these fields by dog walkers who leave the public footpath at the edge of the field or from the lane to exercise dogs off the lead. We have heard and watched the arrival of the lapwings come to nest every March for the last 30 years. Last year the remaining pair were disturbed and left. Meanwhile dog walkers continue on a daily basis to exercise their dogs in the field off the lead letting the dogs roam over the whole field near to where the Lapwings usually nest, risking disturbing the birds and their nests. As numbers of Lapwings are falling and they are "Near Threatened" I worry about what will happen this spring and hoped the Civic Association might be able to help with the issue.

More than happy to help and add further information if required. Looking forward to hearing from you."

Simon Fussell writes:

I can remember back in the early 70's the fields were full of Lapwings or Peewits as we called them. Now they are hanging on in isolated pockets their numbers threatened by a number of factors. 

So what can we do? How can we help Karen and the Bishop lane Lapwings?

Lindsey Wakefield, Chair of the Biodiversity Group  makes the following points. "So much Lapwing habitat has been lost through shifts in farming practice, and birds that still return to sites in March are often battling against these changes and fail in their breeding attempts. Lapwings are long-lived birds - they return to the same spots each year and watching them fail for controllable reasons is heartbreaking. The issue of free running dogs should be the easiest threat to address if there is awareness and understanding."

The Photographs below (taken by Karen King) show where some of the issues are.

So we can all do something to help the Lapwings

Adult Lapwing Photo by Rowan Wakefield

Keeping dogs under control and being aware that from March to the end of July there will be ground nesting birds such as Lapwings that need our help to halt the decline in numbers is a good way to start.

To help raise awareness and suggest how people can help BCA will be putting signs up to let people know that there are ground nesting birds in the area and we will be raising awareness through social media.

Thank you for your support