Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Redcliffe Caves, Redcliffe, Bristol.

When:  18 Feb 2015  19.00 – 21.30 pm.
Where:  Redcliffe Caves, Redcliffe, Bristol.
Who:    Darren T, Burt, Dave Grovener, Tim Taphouse, John Da'casto, Alan Grey and a few other members of Bristol and District caving club.

Caving two weeks running I must have the bug again lol.
This trip was organised by Johnny from Bristol & District CC which I am also a member of.
Redcliffe caves are not really caves they are Mine workings from 15th-18th century that extend under the Redcliffe area of Bristol. There are many entrances to the caves and the full extent of the caves are unknown.
Bristol was the largest glass making centre outside of London and the mines main product was fine sand perfect for making glass. Bottles for beers and spirits were produced and the fine sand was also used for ship’s ballast. Goods for African and West Indian trade were stored here in the caves. Some parts were used as an air raid shelter during the second world war. There are many local myths about these caves with tales of smuggling and hidden treasure.
We are returning to do a Photography trip in the future so pictures to follow soon.

For bookings contact the Axbridge Caving Group, c/o Alan Gray. 42 Maynard Terrace, Clutton, Somerset. BS39 5PW, enclosing a SAE. Alan Gray has been giving these tours since 2001. Tours take place on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening from 7.30pm

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Goatchurch Cavern, Burrington Combe, Mendip.

When:  11 Feb 2015  19.00 – 21.30 pm.
Where:  Goatchurch Cavern. Burrington Combe, Mendip.
Who:    Darren T, Rach Sparrow, Nikky Dennis, Chris Castle, Trish Denning-Kendell, Pete Sanders and two possible new members.

After a layoff of some 8 months or so from caving I thought its about time I got underground again. This trip was organised by ChCC for a couple of new members to try out caving and it turned out to be a rather good trip considering it was in Goatchurch Cavern which has got to be one of the easiest of caves to cave.

Survey of Goatchurch Cavern.

 We started off in the Old entrance and after Trish gave a history lesson we spotted a couple of bats which got one of the newbies very excited. We then went down the Giants steps and followed the passage to the bottom of the new entrance. Here we met Rachelle, Nikky and Chris who were running late. We then preceded down the smaller steps to the terrace. we opted to go under the terrace and along tight rift to Boulder Chamber. Down the slide to Water Chamber and then onto the Drainpipe, This is a flat out crawl of 12 metres or so. Even the newbies managed this. After a brief rest we went back through the Drainpipe and made our way to the new entrance and exited the cave. I think everyone enjoyed the trip and it was good to say hello to everyone after my layoff from underground exploration.
Click on the link below to see a short video of me following someone through the Drainpipe.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Stocks House Shaft. Priddy, Mendip.

When:  29 Mar 2014  14.30 – 16.30 pm.
Where:  Stocks House Shaft. Priddy, Mendip.
Who:    Darren T, Rich T.

Stocks House Shaft is in Stock Hill Forest and about 50 metres from the Cornish Shaft entrance to Five BuddIes Sink.  It is thought possible that it could have been one of Thomas Bushell's twenty shafts, sunk around 1657 in the search for a natural cave or "swallow" from which drain unwanted water from the flooded lead mines. A number of mining relics were recovered when it was excavated by the BEC between 1999 and 2001.
The entrance is a concrete tube lined shaft some 15m deep. This intercepts a small stream way which leads through some gnarly crawl areas, a 6m high boulder filled rift and into a natural passage which ends in a heavily silted too tight passage some100m later.  The part called Silt level is a flat out crawl through the stream way and under a low passage.
A very interesting mine especially when its the first entrance pitch you rig yourselves for SRT.


Friday, 28 March 2014

Single Way Mine. Bathampton Down.

When:  28 Mar 2014  19.30 – 21.45 pm.
Where:  Single Way Mine.
Who:    Darren T, Dave the Cave and Steve.

First trip down this mine. Its a complete contrast to another mine very close by. All be it within walking distance of Bath University. In such a way as there is absolutely no student rubbish what so ever.
 It is a small underground quarry probably as a result of the poor quality stone. The entrance had collapsed but was re-opened in 2009. A short vertical drop requiring a scramble down a boulder slope leads into a 3m high and 2m wide passage with passages branching off right and left to complexes of workings. The main passage continues straight ahead and terminates in a similar complex. there is a number of roof collapses, some of which are very large. All in all a very pleasant little mine to explore although you have to mind when you enter and exit as its on a golf coarse.

One of the passageways with a large piece of roof on the floor.

 Another collapse, note haulage rope marks on right hand pillar.

    Another large collapse.



Sunday, 23 March 2014

Five Buddles Sink. Priddy, Mendip.

When:  23 Mar 2014  10.00 – 12.00 pm.
Where:  Five Buddles Sink. Priddy, Mendip.
Who:    Darren T, Rich T.

A small lead mine which shows several periods of activity since before 1709.  There is the remains of a wheel pit at one end which would have housed a 10.5 feet diameter water wheel.  From the foot of the pitch a short mined level leads to 20 metres of natural streamway, which is walled in places by the lead miners.  This runs under the road to the foot of a 3 metre Cornish shaft.  From the foot of the shaft a 10 metre long natural rift can be entered.  Much of the passage still contains wooden flooring from the late 19th century, when the site was used as a tailings pit by the Mendip Hills Mining Company.


Sunday, 9 February 2014

Old Ham Iron Mine, (Clearwell Caves). Forest Of Dean.

When:  9th Feb 2014  10.00 – 13.00 pm.
Where:  Old Ham Iron Mine, (Clearwell Caves). Forest Of Dean.
Who:    Darren T, Dave C S Tomalin and other members of the GSS .

This was a trip organised by The GSS but they allowed us to come along and have a look.
 Old Ham mine is part of the Clearwell natural cave system which was extensively mined for iron ore to make some of Britain's most complex iron parts. The mine dates back well over 4,500 years, when Neolithic miners dug for ochre pigments to make paints. Iron ore miners later created a warren of underground passageways, connecting the huge caverns.


 An old miners candle holder.
The football shapes in the roof are stromatolite fossils which are structures formed by very early lifeforms, bacteria/algae


Friday, 17 January 2014

Brewers Yard Quarry. Corsham.

When:  17 Jan 2014  19.30 – 21.00 pm.
Where:  Brewers Yard Quarry. Corsham.
Who:    Darren T, Brian C, Mark J and Dave C.

A nice little evening explore around this small but interesting Quarry. Second visit here and sore a lot more this time.

A very unique former Bath stone quarry, the quarry is small in size but has some interesting features. The quarry comprises of two levels which are connected by a stone staircase and a vertical shaft connecting both levels with the surface. There are many blocks of Ashlar which were stacked up but never moved to the surface.

A very steep and narrow slope shaft leads down in to the upper layer of the quarry. Once inside there is a narrow stone staircase which leads down in to the lower level of the quarry.

In the lower level many sawn blocks of Ashlar are stacked up but were never removed, this was possibly due to a collapse at a smaller shaft in the centre of the mine preventing the removal of the stone.

A shaft has been sunk from the surface down through both levels of the quarry, this would have been used to remove stone from both levels up to the surface. The shaft is now capped.