West Wycombe Hellfire Caves
West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
The Caves are an ideal visit for all the family and especially children - their imaginations can be set free. The attraction consists of almost a mile of underground passages with various figures depicting the life and times of the members of the infamous Hellfire Club.
They West Wycombe Caves were originally excavated in the 1750's on the site of an ancient quarry by Sir Francis Dashwood. The Hellfire Club originally met at Medmenham Abbey on the River Thames. After this burnt down accidentally they reputedly then held many of their meetings in the Caves, some three hundred feet underground and half a mile from the entrance!
The magnificent Banqueting Hall is a huge cavern. To consider that the Caves were dug by hand and without the aid of any machines is awe inspiring to say the least.
There are likely to be many people who would have had reason to haunt the Caves, but none so more than Sir Paul Whitehead.
As the steward of the Hellfire Club, Whitehead was devoted to Sir Francis. He asked in his last will and testament that on his death an urn would be placed in a corner of the Dashwood Mausoleum (directly above the Caves) so that his heart may be placed inside and remain with the Dashwoods forever. .
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