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Piper's Hole

OS grid reference :- SV 8816

Impressive Piper's Hole is a deep sea cave which is located at at the foot of Tregarthen Hill, at the north end of Tresco. Once a famous smugglers haunt, the name may have derived from the clay pipes smokers once used.

The cavern is reached by scrambling down the north coast cliff. The small entrance to the cave is packed with large boulders, a hazardous drop through the rocks leads to a sea-level cave. Inside the cave widens to reveal a small freshwater pool. At the far end of the pool lies a small gravel beach leading along to a narrow corridor of granite through the bedrock, with a small curving sandy path. The corridor is about 30 metres deep.

Piper's Hole cuts across a seam of tin which was mined during the seventeenth century. With the arrival of tourism in the nineteenth century a punt was kept there and was used to take tourists to the inner chamber.

Legend states that Piper's Hole connects to a passage under the sea leading to a less significant sea cave of the same name on St. Mary's, that men entered there never to emerge and that dogs who had successfully acomplished the journey emerged at St. Mary's minus most of their fur!

There are several other sea caves along the north coast of Tresco, but none as large or impressive as Piper's Hole.

The Landscape of Cornwall