rambling on

is all about excursions in the countryside including caving and digging trips, walks and thoughts.

Simmonds, V. 2014. An overview of the archaeology of Mendip caves and karst. Mendip Cave Register & Archive (MCRA). (currently being revised, 2016)

I've compiled 'An overview of the archaeology of Mendip caves and karst' that is freely available online at www.mendipgeoarch.net and in the archaeology section of the Mendip Cave Register & Archive at www.mcra.org.uk

From my logbooks...25 years ago.

field notes 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sat, November 04, 2017 07:52:36
White Pit NGR ST 5270 5012

Heavy rain caused our planned trip into Welsh's Green Swallet to be cancelled. Earlier in the day, Tony Jarratt (J'Rat) had suggested that Rich Blake and myself joined the diggers over at White Pit, near Priddy, if we were looking for something to do.

From the logbook:


Rich Blake, Andy 'Eyebrow', J'Rat, Trevor Hughes, Tim Large, Pete Hellier, Andy Sparrow, Estelle Sandford.

"Welsh's trip was called off, so Rich and myself decided to go over to White Pit and lend a hand, neither of us had seen the end before.

The work done over here is quite phenomenal, I was surprised by the amount of spoil shifted. Anyway, Tim was already working away, so we got some rocks smashed and shifted, so as to gain entry into a rock-filled bedding. After shifting a substantial quantity of spoil, Tim decided to go for it. Down-slope was filled with too much rock, so he headed up-slope, passing some precarious looking rocks, calling back to announce he was in a huge chamber, I then called Andy Sparrow and J'Rat forward so that they could have the honour. Everybody managed to get into the large boulder-filled chamber that contained some very nice decorations. After everyone had a good root around and chatter they went back to tidy-up the rocks leading down-slope from the entry point. Rich and I were left in the chamber with Eyebrow and Estelle.

Rich and I had already spotted a promising looking site but some formations needed to be sacrificed. We started to shift rocks from the slope to get under an arched roof. I ended up head first down the slope at 45 degrees passing rocks back before I was able to push some to the side and then, some ahead of me. Eventually, I popped through into a big decorated passage. I called back, saying what I could see and to get word back to the others, also asking for a bar to remove a couple of calcited rocks. Rich, Eyebrow and Estelle then came through, I suggested we should wait for the others to arrive.

Andy Sparrow then told Estelle to lead-on. She entered some of the best decorated passage I've seen on Mendip. The passage was 60 to 70 feet long, up to 20 feet wide and 10 feet high, the left-hand wall was white with calcite. Crystal pools, cascades, translucent straws, big bosses, just fantastic. At the end, an easy dig would have led into more passage, it was decided that should be left for other's in the digging team that were unable to turn-out this evening.

After we had got through to the end, J'Rat turned, smiled and shook Rich and I by the hand."

Happy days indeed!

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