Font size






Judge’s Cave– Neolithic Shelter

Ref: HLCGFP4/013

Judge’s Cave is a large subterranean Cave situated in the southern area of Gibraltar. This cave was discovered during the construction of a Villa in the 1840’s – it was being built for Sir James Cochrane who was the chief justice of Gibraltar from 1841 – 1877, hence the name: Judges Cave.

The importance of this site was immediately noted and since its discovery it has been visited and partly excavated by various people including George Busk, L’Abbe Henri Breuil who was taken to the site by Colonel Willoughby Verner in 1919, and Dr Duckworth to name but a few.

Human remains were found in this site (From the Neolithic Period) and are currently held by the British Museum in London. This includes the skulls and humorous of two individuals. Historian George Palao visited this site between January and April 1969 in which time he also excavated it producing various pottery artefacts which are now stored in the Gibraltar Museum. The pottery remains excavated by Mr Palao from this site are some of Gibraltar's most beautiful pieces.

Captain Gorham also visited the cave during his time in Gibraltar alongside his team consisting of Lt. Anderson & Sgt. Mathews. Captain Gorham, best known for the discovery and naming of Gorham’s Cave, was a keen explorer and left an inscription within Judge’s cave marking his visit on the 12th of December 1906. Judge’s Cave still contains areas of archaeological deposits which remain ‘un-excavated’ and could very possibly yield more human remains during future excavations.

Judges cave was surveyed to a ‘Grade 6’ level of accuracy by a team of Spanish professional speleologists (Jose & Julio Aguilera) working alongside the Gibraltar Museum’s Team and another survey was carried out separately by the Gibraltar Museums Caving unit on the 12th of September 2012. The site has a total depth of 47 Meters below the current ground level and a total length of 250 Meters. Considering the site is 74 meters above sea level this makes its bottom chambers only 27 meters above sea level.

Judge’s Cave is an extensive system based on various levels and may well lead to other large chambers which are yet to be discovered. There is also a possibility that this cave could link up with other cave systems located nearby.

Gibraltar Museum Caving Unit

Link to Neville Chipulina 2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 9

Judge's Cave sketch included in Duckworth’s 1912 article.

Judge's Cave entrance (Gibraltar Caving Unit).

Judge's Cave fissure.

Underground Gibraltar Ep 04 Pt 02 Judge’s Cave

Judge’s Cave– Neolithic Shelter Image