The Cave Studies Centre is based at Higher Kiln Quarry, Buckfastleigh, Devon and is within the Dartmoor National Park. This limestone quarry is one of several in Buckfastleigh Hill, all of which are now closed. The now ruined fomer parish church is at the top of the hill (and visible from a wide area) sitting between Bullycleaves Quarry (the last to close), Bakers Pit (closed and used as a landfill site) and Higher Kiln Quarry which is in two parts, separated by a lamprophyre dyke. This last quarry is a nature reserve now owned by the Devon Wildlife Trust. The Pengelly Trust operates its Centre on a long-term lease and under an agreed management plan, supervised by a joint management committee. The reserve includes the whole quarry, the buildings, limekilns and access areas and the fields above the quarry. It has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

‚ÄčThe map shows the hill and quarries with the church and cave studies Centre picked out. The blue shaded areas are caves in the limestone of the hill; the great majority of these are the Reeds Cave/Bakers Pit system which totals some 5 km of passages at various levels.


The Centre provides residential facilities for groups doing a range of activities in the local area; these include caving, normally in caves off the site but in the nearby area. The Centre accommodates a range of educational programmes that includes public guided walks, visits from special interest and school groups, as well as use by researchers. It is open all year but access to the quarry and caves is restricted in winter. All of the principal caves at the Centre are locked and may only be visited by arrangement or as part of the Trust’s guided walks programme.