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St Georges Day 111 years ago

Kents Cavern celebrates being privately run for 111 years on St Georges Day

On 23rd April 1903, Francis Powe acquired Kents Cavern, Torquay and 111 years later, the conservation of one of Europe’s most important prehistoric cave sites continues in private hands under the responsibility of his great grandson, Nick Powe.

In 1903 Francis already had a strong family connection to the cave.  His father-in-law, George Smerdon, had been foreman during the Great Excavation between 1865 and 1880.  At the conclusion of this pioneering archaeological endeavour, George became the first custodian.  Interest in visiting Kents Cavern grew during Victorian times and Francis began to guide cave tours taking some famous people around including Beatrix Potter and the future King George V as a young prince. 

Nick Powe said: “Continuing my family’s long association with this remarkable English heritage site is a tremendous privilege. 

“I am very proud of what my family has achieved over the last 111 years, as custodians of this exceptional window into Britain’s prehistory and as creators of this great British cave attraction.  I look forward to delivering the next chapter in the Kents Cavern story.” 


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