In 2019 Michele and I took three trips to the “suspected location” of the English Grass Cave. I had read about it in Stonewalls, a now defunct Hilltown periodical. Because our Hilltowns are a grass roots, friendly type of place, turns out Karen knew some folks who knew of the cave.
We were out and about scouting Palmer Cemetary a few weeks earlier with Moe B. and he told us who to call. Julie P. a Montgomery resident just happens to have the English Grass Cave in her backyard, with her permission we went to find it.
English Grass Cave in Montgomery
“the Regicides,” two English political fugitives who hid out in a cave, according to legend just south of Mount Shatterack during the 1660s.
Probably some early settlers explored the wilder regions, and according to one of many legends connected with Tekoa and the surrounding hills, two fugitives from the wrath of King Charles II, the “Regicides,” hid out in a cave there for as long as a year during 1660s.
This is the most dubious of Tekoa’s legends, although the English Grass Cave exists-so named, according to tradition, because the approaches were once grassy and the fugitives were English. During that time period, of course, nearly all the region’s settlers were English, indicating the cave was named later, probably much later, casting further doubt on the story.
The cave is little more than a large fissure in a granite outcropping. Located in a forested area of Montgomery near the Russell boundary, a few miles northwest of Tekoa and just south of Mount Shattuck, it’s hard to find and well suited to serve as a hideout. A jumble of boulders conceals the low, narrow entrance, which opens into a chamber about 12 feet across and four to six feet high. To the rear a passageway three feet in diameter leads upward to a smaller room.
The story of the regicides, William Goffe and Edward Whalley.
Inside the English Grass Cave
English Grass Bypass Trail from Strathmore Mill in Russell
English Grass Cave Trail from Westfield Reservoir in Montgomery