Dunmore Cave is located about 11 Km North of Kilkenny City, Ireland close to the road linking the city to Castlecomer town. The cave contains many passages and is 150 feet below the surface at its deepest. It has several calcite formations the most spectacular of which is known as the Market Cross, measuring over 5m high and 1.3m across. The cave is open to the public and was designated as a national monument in 1944.
Reference to the cave, which is a 300 million years old limestone formation, can be found in documents dating back centuries. The Annals, for instance, tell of a Viking massacre which occurred at the cave in 928 AD. Later investigations showed that the remains discovered were the bodies of nineteen female adults and twenty five children. Excavations at various times have uncovered bodies, coins, weapons and various artefacts dating back to Viking times. The cave is referred to in many publications including the Dublin Penny Journal. Kilkenny native Bishop George Berkeley wrote an account of a visit he made to the cave in 1706.
At the end of the 1999 tourist season, a tourist guide who was tidying up discovered a hoard of silver and bronze items which dated back to 970 AD. Among the items found were some coins from the North East of England and others from Baghdad. Officials described the find as “very exciting and of major significance”. The cave was closed to the public so that further archaeological works could be carried out. The announcement of the discovery of the hoard of coins and jewellery which was over 1,000 years old, and its transfer to the National Museum in Dublin was made on January 13th 2000. Following the archaeological works extensive redevelopment at the cave was undertaken before it was reopened to the public in 2003.
The hoard of coins and jewellery dating back over 1,000 years was discovered in Dunmore Cave in the year 1999 On This Day.
Dunmore Cave by Olivier Bruchez on 2011-08-01 17:23:32
Dunmore Cave by Olivier Bruchez on 2011-08-01 16:32:37
Photo by Olivier Bruchez