By Colin Baxter
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Photographs taken around this time by J. 7) shows that the extent of the deposits within the cave were much as Hughes and Thomas had recorded on their section drawing of 1874 (Hughes and Thomas 1874). In 1940 the cave was requisitioned for wartime use and the floor was levelled and covered with gravel over which duck-boards were placed. Spoil from this work was placed outside the cave entrance. The entrance was faced with limestone blocks to camouflage it against possible enemy attack. Beyond the wall a concrete floored guard-chamber complete with a coke stove was constructed with an inner brick wall separating the guard from his charge.
7. Pontnewydd Cave in the 1920s. By permission of Derbyshire County Council: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery (Jackson Collection). was accumulated while the land was sinking; and the sand and gravel formation was deposited while the land was rising. He saw evidence for an interglacial period, during the first part of which the land was still submerging, but with dry land prevailing during the second part. He recorded a second submergence during which the upper boulder clay was deposited in Pontnewydd Cave.
It was here that villagers and diggers – or scratchers, as the villagers preferred to call the archaeologists – would meet up and events such as post-work football or darts matches were arranged. Rumour had it that the village pub was once sold on the basis of its September profits from 25 people annually descending on the village.