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Students explore cave at Erdiston

LISA KING, [email protected]

Students explore cave at Erdiston

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Though every day while on campus they walk over the cave under the campus of the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, many students did not even know it existed or where the entrance was located. 

Yesterday, several students toured a small section of the cave, near the opening, under the guidance of geologist Dr Andre Brathwaite as part of the college’s activities under the theme Celebrating Barbados’ 51st Anniversary of Independence.

Brathwaite said the cave at Erdiston forms a cathedral then splits into two chambers, the right chamber leads to The People’s Cathedral Church, Bishops Court Hill area, and the other under the campus’ cricket pitch and the Erdiston Nursery School.

The students brave enough to venture into the cave saw the finger coral formations.

Brathwaite said the cave ran about 30 feet underground, and that from his investigations in the past years it was structurally sound and stable.

“However, this is limestone, water can come along and cut a path in it so it is not predictable, but it is pretty sound, its thickness is good at the moment,” Brathwaite said.

He said there were many other caves in Barbados, but that number was yet to be determined. “Barbados is a limestone area that is being dug out by water every day, and every gully in Barbados was actually a collapsed cave.  I know of about 20 confirmed caves, that I have investigated; some small as about 30 square feet to the likes of Cole’s Cave, St Thomas, which is the longest in Barbados I have seen. 

 “There are many houses and structures in Barbados where there are caves and people do not know they are living on top of a cave. Spring Garden is called Spring Garden because it has springs that cut out, Cave Hill in St Michael and in St Lucy, there are all caves under there. When the Warrens Office Complex was being built it took so long because they found so many caves,” he said.

The historical context of the cave at Erdiston was given by historian and presenter Dr Karl Watson, who spoke on the variety of caves found in Barbados, how they were formed and how they were used.

Watson said the cave at Erdiston was used for entertaining and the owner of the property at that time, Sam Manning, used it for dinner parties, had electrical fittings installed and a bar among other amenities.

Watson also shared his personal experience with other local caves including Mapps, in St Philip, Trents, in St James, and Coles Cave, in St Thomas. (LK)