The Devil’s Hole is a natural crater in the solid cliff measuring about 100ft across and plunging 200ft down. It has been caused by the sea gradually eroding the roof of what was once a cave, until it collapsed and formed a crater. The name ‘Devil’s Hole’ is a dramatic one but was only invented in the 19th century as a means of attracting intrepid visitors. Formerly it was called ‘Le Creux de Vis’ or Spiral Cave. One possible derivation for its modern name is connected with the shipwreck of a French boat in 1851. Its figurehead was thrust by the tide straight into the hole and a local sculptor transformed the torso into a wooden devil, complete with horns. Today this devil’s fibre glass replica stands in a pool on the way down to the crater, lending a peculiarly supernatural atmosphere to the winding path down to the Devil’s Hole itself.
There is an elegant viewing platform at the bottom of the path allowing visitors to experience both the grandeur and true wilderness of our north coast cliffs. Just across the valley a conservation grazing scheme has been introduced to improve the habitat and ecological biodiversity of this coastal site. Multi-horned Manx Loaghtan sheep have breathed new life into the landscape and through their grazing have enabled the re-introduction of the Chough after a 100 year absence.
Devil’s Hole was generously donated in 2006 by the Clarke Family in memory of Fred Clarke. The first project of the Trust’s Coastline Campaign was the repair of the steep footpath down to Devil’s Hole. Hard landscaping and tired fencing was removed and replaced with timber steps, galvanised steel railings and the new viewing platform was created. The Trust has also created a new woodland in nearby Le Mourier Valley planting 6,000 trees in a bid to mitigate climate change and re-wild this area of the coast.