Origins of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark
Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark can trace its history back to 1985 when the Marble Arch Caves were opened as a tourist attraction by Fermanagh District Council. Originally employing only a handful of staff the Marble Arch Caves enjoyed a great deal of success and quickly expanded its facilities to accommodate ever growing numbers of visitors. In 1998 the adjacent Cuilcagh Mountain Park was opened on the northern slopes of Cuilcagh Mountain,fulfilling a vital conservation responsibility for the endangered blanket bog, but also providing a welcome recreational resource, with safe access to the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain.
History of the Marble Arch Caves
For countless thousands of years the Marble Arch Caves lay undisturbed in inky black, primeval darkness, while the cave river eroded and dissolved away millions of tonnes of limestone to carve and shape the majestic cave passages.
Rank upon rank of stalactites grew slowly from the cave roof in pitch darkness where a person could spend a lifetime in the cave and never see their hand in front of their face.
Superstition and fear kept the caves free from visitors and absolute darkness prevailed until 1895 when two intrepid explorers disturbed the silence and natural order of the caves, and the first beam of light pierced the blackness, breaking the long sleep of the Marble Arch Caves.
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Marble Arch Caves Visitor Information
Advance Booking is recommended particularly at peak times such as weekends, public/bank holidays and in school holidays. Booking can be made by telephoning +44 (0) 28 6634 8855 from 9:00am daily. Cave tours may not be available after heavy rain so please contact us prior to departure.
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