The William Pengelly Cave Studies Trust is a UK based organisation with an international membership. The trust was established in 1962 to further the study and conservation of caves.

The William Pengelly Cave Studies Trust is a charity whose origins were in 1962 when Higher Kiln Quarry at Buckfastleigh was purchased with the intention of creating a cave studies centre. The quarry contains a number of caves, one of which (Joint Mitnor Cave) contains the remains of many species such as elephant, bison and hippopotamus dating from the period between the last two major glaciations (between 120 and 80 thousand years ago). This cave is internationally recognised as a type site for this period. The organisation is named after William Pengelly who was a local man who, in the mid 19th century, excavated a number of cave sites in Devon, most notably Brixham Cave and Kents Cavern at Torquay. He was also responsible for establishing excavation methods and records that became a model for all modern archaeology.

The Trust promotes cave research and conservation through a range of publications and educational visits. We also offer a membership for anyone who would like to support the work of the Trust.

News at Pengelly


CIO conversion information

The long-awaited and much delayed conversion of the Trust to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated
Organisation) finally happened late in September 2022. The process has not been a happy one
but we can now at last move forward with the creation of the Friends scheme which will replace
the traditional membership as well as taking advantage of simpler procedures for reporting to the Charity Commission.

Centre News

Many thanks to Veterans Outdoors who have been helping out around the centre over the course of the year. We have posted some pictures on the link below.

Veterans Outdoors


Pengelly Newsletters now online.

We have started to add old William Pengelly Cave Studies Trust newsletters on to the website – for move information, click here.


Become a member of Pengelly....