Cornwall LivingIssue #109
A world beneath your feet
Experience one of the Duchy’s premier underground experiences.
Carnglaze Caverns is a family run business with much for everybody to enjoy. The caverns can be found amongst 6.5 acres of ancient oak woodland in the steep-sided Loveny Valley, on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor.
Initially, there was an open-cast quarry on the site, but some 300 years ago the miners started to go underground too, resulting in the formation of three hand-dug caverns of cathedral proportions. During a tour here you will go about 150 metres into the hillside and 60 below ground. From the first chamber, which is fully accessible, there is a flight of 60 steps down to the other two chambers. In the lower chambers you will find the underground lake with its crystal-clear, blue-green water. The caverns are at a constant 10°C underground, so a jumper and sensible footwear are recommended!
Carnglaze is also home to five recorded species of bat, some of whom sleep and hibernate in the unlit areas, and whilst it
is a wonderful sight to behold them, visitors are asked to switch off any flash settings on cameras and phones, so they are not disturbed.
Delving deeper into the history of this site, we learn that during the Second World War, the Royal Navy used the first chamber to store its supply of rum for its base at Devonport in Plymouth. Local folklore has it that you could smell the rum at the junction with the A38 – about a mile away! In December 2002, the chamber was converted into an auditorium with seating for 400. Fast forward to now, and the slate walls and roof form a stunning backdrop for events of all kinds. A truly unique performance venue, due to the shape and height of the cavern, the acoustics are simply astounding, and in fact the venue has been acclaimed by many of the local and international artists who have performed here. With a fully licensed bar open on concert nights, and a catering unit in the gardens serving snack food at most events, be sure to keep an eye out for 2021 concert dates. But be quick – tickets are sure to sell out fast!
Did you know?
Carnglaze Caverns is open all year from 10am to 5pm (8pm in August) for self-guided tours underground. During high season, tours may be guided. Please pre-book your tour and concert tickets via the website: www.carnglaze.com
If you’re planning your wedding day and are looking for a venue with a difference, Carnglaze Caverns has no fewer than four different locations in which to tie the knot. As the team says: “Weddings at Carnglaze have not gone out of fashion; they’ve just gone underground!”