Beer Quarry Caves

Top choice in East Devon

Beer's creamy chalk cliffs hint at the presence of a seam of high-quality masonry material called Beer stone. It's been used in countless famous buildings, including 24 cathedrals, the Tower of London and Windsor Castle. The quarry has been worked since Roman times; tours see you donning a hard hat before being led into an evocative maze of quarry tunnels, some with 2000-year-old tool marks on the walls.

You'll also hear tales of smuggling, including those of 18th-century excise-dodger Jack Rattenbury, who snuck barrels of French brandy ashore and secreted them in the caves. The quarry was worked until the 1920s and evokes harsh working conditions: the incessant ringing of hammer and chisel gave rise to the phrase 'stone deaf'.

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