Bacon Hole cave
SS 5605 8682
Bacon Hole is one of Gower's larger and more famous caves. Easily accessed from a footpath from Eastgate, Southgate, its entrance is over 20 metres wide and extends for some 45 metres into the cliff at a good walking height.
The cave has both an upper chamber and an offshoot that is angled to the right of the cave. This offshoot continues to a depth of about 10 metres and it was here in 1912 that Abbe Breuil and Professor Sollas discovered the 10 wide red coloured bands that gave the cave it's famous name. These dark red streaks on the rock were sealed by a film of translucent stalagmite, and were believed at that time to be rare examples of Palaeolithic art.
For a while, Bacon Hole courted both notoriety and controversy but it was not long before it was noted that the celebrated marks changed with the passing of time and were nothing more than red oxide mineral seeping through the rock.
The remains of an iron gate, constructed to protect the site during the height of its fame can still be found here, but the marks themselves have disappeared behind a screen of graffiti.
The cave itself has been shown to be occupied during both the Iron Age and Romano-British eras and its archeological finds can be seen in Swansea Museum.
The cave is an important wintering site for two species of Horseshoe bats and is often visited by school parties attending local outdoor study centres.