Mother Ludlam's Cave - William Cobbett

William Cobbett

William Cobbett wrote of the cave in his Rural Rides, recounting his visit of 27 October 1825:

From Waverley we went to Moore Park, once the seat of Sir William Temple, and, when I was a very little boy, the seat of a lady or a Mrs Temple. Here I showed Richard "Mother Ludlum's Hole"; but, alas! it is not the enchanting place that I knew it, nor that which Grose describes in his Antiquities! The semicircular paling is gone; the basins to catch the never-ceasing little stream are gone; the iron cups, fastened by chains, for people to drink out of, are gone; the pavement all broken to pieces; the seats, for people to sit on, on both sides of the cave, torn up, and gone; the stream that ran down a clean paved channel, now making a dirty gutter; and the ground opposite, which was a grove, chiefly of laurels, intersected by closely-mowed grass walks, now become a poor ragged-looking alder-coppice.

The cave is now in an even more dire state of repair following collapse of part of its roof during the drought of 1976, which also affected the floor of the cave by covering the remaining signs of habitation with a large mound of sand.

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