Description: Gay's Cave and Diamond
Date Listed: 10 January 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 321314
OS Grid Reference: SU1473741692
OS Grid Coordinates: 414737, 141692
Latitude/Longitude: 51.1743, -1.7906
11/3 Gay's Cave and Diamond
Grotto, late C18, perhaps by Flitcroft or Chambers. Limestone
facade and lining to chalk cut cave set in cliff over River Avon,
and below defences of Vespasian's camp (landscaped Iron Age
hillfort). Spoil forms front apron with inclined paths forming the
'diamond' in plan and elevation. Facade set at end of short
dromos, an arch with springing and keyblocks, and an open cornice,
all mouldings partly 'overgrown' with uncut rock-faced stone. Iron
gates with fan top.
Interior has square cell with arch headed niches each side, and to
rear, an arch to an apse. Groined vault. Settings in floor for
features now missing. Probably the place used by John Gay to write
'The Beggar's Opera' and 'Polly' in seclusion during his long stay
and patronage by the Duchess of Queensbury.
Listing NGR: SU1473741692
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.