The Caves were originally excavated by Sir Francis Dashwood in the 1740’s to give employment to the villagers following a succession of harvest failures. They were then and still remain totally unique. Their design was no doubt inspired by Sir Francis’s Grand Tour of Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Many of his fellow dillettanes were building great Estates and landscaping gardens and temples above ground but no others dared venture underground in this way. The chalk was used to build the main road from West Wycombe to High Wycombe. The Caves were all dug by hand and you can still see the actual individual pick marks on the walls. Sir Francis established the Knights of Sir Francis of Wycombe, later to be known as the notorious Hell-Fire Club, who used the caves for a number of their meetings and parties. Members included Lord Sandwich, John Wilkes and other influential men of the era. Benjamin Franklin, a great friend of Sir Francis, was also a visitor to the Caves.
This is a great day out for all the family whatever the weather! There is a Hell-Fire Tea Room and Gift Shop that serves homemade cakes, cream teas, jacket potatoes and other light snacks and a gift shop perfect for finding a souvenir for your day out. The Caves are also available for private and corporate parties including receptions, product launches and dinners. A superb filming location for TV, film, music and video production. Great for school holiday workshops and Halloween themed events!