Culver Hole, Overton Mere

SS 4655 8460

Culver Hole is a curiousity to many observers and is one of Gower's most illustrated caves . It is a very tall, narrow cave which, during its long history, has been walled up to protect a number of floors and slippery stairways.

Culver Hole

The reason why this cave was utilised by past locals in some way seems to stem from the name given to it. The word "culver" has been traced to Middle English terminology, derived from the Old English "culufre", meaning pigeon or dove. In fact the term culverhouse is still used in some parts of Britain to denote a dovecote.

The common feral pigeons that roam our city streets were once wild and at home on coastal cliffs around the British Isles and beyond, but were quickly drawn to the radiant heat and food abundance of modern-day city life - exchanging their shelter of rock faces for brick walls. During the harsher times of the Middle Ages both locals and livestock would struggle on meagre food supplies during the winter, and many farmed animals were slaughtered so they didn't need to be fed and their carcasses were preserved in pits with a sprinkling of salt. No doubt this winter menu proved desperate and undesirable, so the search for plentiful fresh meat singled out the coastal Blue Rock Pigeon. With its ability to breed all year round, given the necessary shelter and food, and its quick regeneration, large dovecotes became quite commonplace within the higher classes.

The cave has be excavated in the past and archaeological artifacts were found. During an investigation in December 1989, a small fragment of an antler was found trapped in an alcove

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