30th January

Report by Vince

Vince, Jon, Jake, Nick, Tav and Mike.

A good turn-out this evening, although we all had to negotiate the car park full of film crew and all the paraphernalia that went with them. “The Spanish Princess” apparently, didn’t sound very gripping. On to more pressing matters…

At the dig, the ‘wall’ was approached on two fronts; Jake, aided by Nick, continued on from Tav’s efforts last session, Jon continued where he had left off a couple of weeks ago, now following a trickle of water, there were some feint mumblings about water dripping into his ear but these were ignored. The rest of us were occupied with spoil dispersal. Nick was also endeavouring to remove a large boulder. With all this digging activity the buckets were being filled and emptied at a steady rate.

Nick’s boulder had been loosened, Tav fetched the sledgehammer, I used it to beat the boulder into submission. Jake called out; things were “looking very good”, he could see space back towards Jon. Meanwhile, Jon had turned the drip into a more sustained flow of mud and water, then announced that he could see into “black space”. As Jon kept on digging the resulting slurry was scraped away down onto the now sticky platform. Eventually, Jon was able to wriggle up through a narrow, slippery slot, with some assistance, into the space beyond. We all followed…

A chamber, guesstimated to be c.12m length, up to 6m width and c.6m high, formed along a line of weakness and likely to be the continuation of the main passage, the floor area, strewn with degraded conglomerate. There is a calcite vein, perhaps evidence of some hydro-thermal activity, and plenty of fractured rock along a fault line. Water dripping from the roof has precipitated calcite flowstone over large areas of the chamber floor, some decent mud formations were noticed too. There is a need for some photographs and surveying to be carried out. A couple of holes were noted at high level that require checking and there are several potential leads to pursue. Some rock removal was around the entry point allowed enlargement of the wriggle. Jake’s dig would have entered the same space a couple of metres away.

Very satisfied with the evening’s outcome, we left and made our way out of the cave.

Author: mendipgeoarch

Archaeologist, Geologist, Speleologist!