Redcliffe Caves are a series of manmade tunnels beneath the Redcliffe area of Bristol, England.
The Triassic red sandstone was dug into in the Middle Ages to provide sand for glass making and pottery production. Further excavation took place from the 17th to early 19th centuries and used for storage of trade goods. There is some evidence that prisoners captured during the French Revolutionary Wars or Napoleonic Wars were imprisoned in the caves but it is clear that the local folklore that slaves were imprisoned in the caves during the Bristol slave trade is false. After the closure of the last glass factory the caves were used for storage and became a rubbish dump. The caves are not generally open but have been used for film and music events. Bristol, UK information can be seen at this link.
The explored and mapped area covers over 0.40 hectare however several areas are no longer accessible and the total extent of the caves is not known.
During World War II small parts of the caves were surveyed for use as an air raid shelter. A bomb created a crater into the caves which was subsequently filled in blocking access to some parts of the cave system. Discover facts about Queen Square.
Bristol Film Festival
The caves have been used as an underground venue for the Bristol Film Festival, and for theatre productions.