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Joseph Beldam-Royston Cave

Joseph Beldam-Royston Cave

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Published by Tom Bedlam

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Published by: Tom Bedlam on Mar 06, 2011
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03/06/2011

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THEORIGINANDUSE
OfTHEROYSTONCAVEBEINGTHESUBSTANCEOFAREPORT,SOMETIMESINCEPRESENTEDTOTHEROYALSOCIETYOFANTIQUARIES.BYTHELATEJOSEPHBELDAM,ESQF.S.A.,F.R.G.S.,MEMBEROFTHEARCHAEOLOGICALINSTITUTEOFGREATBRITAINANDIRELAND.THIRDEDITION
ROYSTON:PUBLISHEDBYJOHNWARRENM,DCCC,LXXXIV.
THEROYSTONCAVE.INTRODUCTION.MOREthanacenturyhaselapsedsinceafortunateaccidentledtothediscoveryofoneofthemostinterestingspecimensofantiquitypossessedbythisoranyothercountry-theROYSTONCAVESogreatwasthecuriosityoccasionedbythissingularoccurrence,thatitimmediatelygaverisetoawarmcontroversybetweentwoeminentarchaeologistsoftheday,Dr.WilliamStukeleyandthe
 
Rev.CharlesParkin,inthecourseofwhich,thoughbothpartiesdisplayedabundantlearningandingenuity,thecauseoftruthsufferedmuchfromtheirmutuallossoftemper,andthetooeagerdesireonbothsidestoestablisharivaltheory.Thefoiblesoftheseliterarycombatantshavepassedaway.Andthepresentage,distinguished,unquestionably,byamuchhighersenseofthenationalvalueofthearchaeologicalstudies,whenrightlyconducted,andaidedlikewisebyamoreenlargedexperienceofarchaeologicalprobabilities,seemstobeinabetterpositiontoexerciseanimpartialandcorrectjudgmentonthepointsdisputed.Recentresearchesalsohavecontributed,insomedegree,tothrowadditionallightontheoriginanduseofthisremarkableexcavation.Theresultbasbeenarevivalofcuriosityinseveralquarters,whichhasendedinarequest,nowcompliedwith,topublishthesubstanceofaReportpresentedafewyearsagototheRoyalSocietyofAntiquaries.Inrespecttowhichpaperitneedonlybestated,thatthedesiretoflakethesubjectstrictlypopular,hasledtotheomissionof'numerousquotationsandreferences,whichwouldhaveencumberedthepage,withoutaddinginequalproportiontothegratificationofthegeneralreader.THETOWNOFROYSTONANDITSVICINITY.OurpresentobjectbeingmerelyahistoryoftheCave,anyfurtherdescriptionofthetownandneighborhoodthanmaybenecessarytodecideupontheoriginanduseofthisremarkableexcavationmustbedeemedsuperfluous.Averybriefnoticeofthelocalitywillsufficeforthispurpose.ThetownofRoystonstandspartlyinCambridgeshiresadpartlyinHertfordshireonarangeofchalkdownswhichextendthroughthekingdomfromeasttowest,andPreciselyatthepointofjunctionoftwomilitaryroadsofgreatantiquity,whichherecrosseachother;onecalledtheErmenStreet,commencing,asitissupposed,onthecoastofSussex,andproceeding
 
throughStamfordandLincoln,intothenortherncounties;theothercalledtheIkenhildeStreet,probablycommencingin.Dorsetshire,andfollowingthechalkdownseastwardthroughDunstableandIckleton,toIcklehaminSuffolk.NearRoystontwovicinalroadsranparallel.totheIkenhildeStreet,onealongthebrowofthehills,and.stillcalledinsomeparts,theRidgeway;theotherskirtingthenorthernedgeofthedowns,andstillknownbythenameoftheAshwellWay.The.wholecountryaboundswithBritish,Roman,andSaxonantiquitiesAlongtheancientways,especiallyin.thedirectionoftheIkenhildeStreet,arenumerousRomanMilitaryposts,cemeteriesandsepulchralremains,includingtheRomanVillaandCemeteryatLitlington;andRomancornsofmostoftheimperialreignsarefrequentlyfound.Dr.StukeleyandtheRev.CharlesParkin,bothtakeitforgrantedthataRomantownorStationexistedonthesiteofthepresenttown;foundingtheiropiniononthewellknownRomancustomoferectingastation,atthejunctionoftheirprincipalroads.Itmustbeconfessed,however,thatthisreasoningisnotquiteconclusive;andnocertainvestigesofRomanhabitationscanbeaffirmedtohavebeeneverdiscovered.Buttheabsenceofthesemay,perhaps,besufficientlyaccountedfor,insoexposedacountry,bythesubsequentravagesofPictish,Saxon,andDanishinvaders,eachbentonthedestructionoftheworksoftheirpredecessors.AndsomeconfirmationisgiventotheideaofRomanstation,bytherecentdiscoveryofseveralancientshaftsorpitssimilartothosefoundatChesterford,andotherconfessedlyRomansites.ProofsofasuccessiveBritishandSaxonoccupation,however,areeverywhereseen.Itcannotbedoubted,thatonthebeautifulturfaround,eachoftheseancientracesinturnpasturedtheirflocks,celebratedtheirgames,marshalledtheirforces,andforverymanyagesin

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