Royston Cave

Worms Feast on Caves Rare Chalk Carvings

July 9, 2011 / England, United Kingdom, Europe

Conservationists in Hertfordshire are working to preserve historic underground chalk carvings from an infestation of worms.

The carvings that date from the 14th century, cover the walls of Royston Cave, a man-made cavern in the shape of a beehive. A number of religious symbols are depicted such as the crucifixion, the holy family and several saints. In addition cavings show knights being burnt at the stake, which rasises suspicions that the site may have been used by the Knights Templar.

Since its discovery in the 18th Century, the Grade I-listed site’s cavervings have deteriorated. Experts believe the damage can be attributed to worms feeding on nutrients in the chalk walls.

To preserve the cave, the teams are working to remove the the worms’ habitat of soil and debris from the cave floor and injecting the walls with chemicals to strengthen them.

While usually open to the public for visit, the cave will be closed while the work is carried. out July 4th to 15th, the cave will be closed.

Work begins to preserve historic carvings at Royston Cave [BBC]

Photo by Sizbut

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