The caves consist of a long winding tunnel running a quarter of a mile into the hill with numerous chambers and divided passages leading off it, including a huge Banqueting Hall, allegedly the largest man-made chalk cavern in the world.The design is clearly symbolic and is thought to have been influenced by the Eleusinian mysteries of ancient Greece, which Dashwood would have learned about on his Grand Tour.
The village retains much of its historical charm and the High Street has a number of traditional shops as well as pubs and tea rooms.
In the late 16th century, timber-framed houses were built in the village. Brick was made in local kilns taking advantage of local clay on the chalk hills.
At its peak, no fewer than seven inns and alehouses thrived in the tiny village.
In 1929 the village was bought by the Royal Society of Arts as part of the Society's ‘Campaign for the Preservation of Ancient Cottages’.
The village of West Wycombe was once owed by the Dashwood family.